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Shell says 'issue' at Beaver County plant leads to flaring

Shell says 'issue' at plant leads to flaring
Shell says 'issue' at plant leads to flaring 02:36

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Shell said it had an "issue" that caused its cracker plant in Beaver County to flare. 

The Shell cracker plant is Beaver County is seen flaring on Feb. 13, 2023. NewsChopper 2

The company said Monday in a Facebook post that flares "enable a safe response" to equipment malfunctions. 

Shell said it expects the flaring to continue throughout the night and all appropriate regulatory agencies have been notified. 

"We apologize for any inconveniences and are working diligently to minimize the duration of flaring. Safety of our workers, the community and environment are top priorities for Shell Polymers Monaca," the Facebook post said. 

"I'm preparing to take an air sample from around the Shell plant due to the excessive flaring that was done today," Dr. Clifford Lau of the Beaver County Marcellus Awareness Community told KDKA-TV on Monday. "We will send it to a lab to analyze by an EPA."

Lau is concerned about what kinds of volatile organic compounds are being emitted.

"It's happened quite a few times. But it's not just the flaring, it's just all the operations in general," Lau said. "This gives off all kinds of VOCs just in its normal operation, nitrogen dioxide. Pittsburgh already has some of the worse air pollution in the country. And here we've got a plant that is going to make it worse."

"They should have their machines operating correctly so they don't have to burn off the gasses and pollute the air and the public around here," Lau said.

KDKA-TV reach out to the Pennsylvania DEP for comment on Monday but has not heard back.

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