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DEP: Requests to void Shell’s air permit have been made

Environmental groups have already begun raining on Shell’s parade and have asked the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) in Pennsylvania to revoke the company’s air permit for its Beaver County facility.

The two groups, Clean Air Council and Environmental Integrity Project have appealed the DEP’s air permit for the potential ethane cracker facility Shell plans to build in Beaver County.  The groups claim the permit “does not require enough protections to prevent further air pollution in an area in which some pollutants exceed federal levels,” reports the Pittsburgh Business Times.

The appeal was officially filed this week with the Environmental Hearing Board, which is responsible for hearing all appeals dealing with the DEP.  According to the TribLIVE, “DEP spokesman Neil Shader said the department does not comment on pending appeals. The permit remains in effect unless the board takes action.”

The DEP issued Shell four permits back in June.  The permits were required and allowed the company to move forward with prep work at the location of the proposed ethane cracker facility, which is the former Horsehead Holdings Corp. zinc smelter site.

If Shell proceeds with the facility, it will have the ability to produce nearly 1.5 million metric tons of polyethylene from ethane provided by the region’s gas fields.  By doing so, the plant’s main air pollutant will be carbon dioxide, and under Shell’s air permit it will be able to emit “no more than the equivalent of about 2.25 million tons per year.”

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