Thursday, February 22, 2024

DEP: Shell Petrochemical Plant Pays Additional $2,671,044.75 In Civil Penalties For 12-Month Air Quality Violations After May 2023 Consent Order

On February 22, the Department of Environmental Protection reported the Shell Petrochemical Plant in Beaver County paid an additional $2,671,044.75 in civil penalties for air quality violations occurring after the May 24, 2023 consent order.

            The consent order and agreement included a $4,935,023 penalty to the DEP Clean Air Fund (25% of which was directed to the host community as required by law) and an additional $5 million was allocated to a Beaver County Environmental Mitigation Community Fund.

            However, in Paragraph 14.b of the May 24, 2023 order [page 25], Shell agreed to the assessment of civil penalties for future violations of 12-month air emission limitations occurring after April 2023 and before January 2024.  

Those penalties were to be paid at the time monthly emission reports were submitted by Shell to DEP on their air emissions, something noted in DEP’s announcement of the original penalties.  Read more here.

Paragraph 14.b also said DEP “will not send a Notice of Violation to Shell for violations of the Twelve-Month Emission Limitations occurring between the date of this Consent Order and Agreement and December 2023.”

The pollutants included in these additional penalties were-- volatile organic compounds, nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, hazardous air pollutants and “other pollutants,” excluding  carbon dioxide emissions.

            On February 22, DEP Southwest Regional Office spokesperson Lauren Camarda said in an email in response to questions, "DEP received the following payments from Shell pursuant to the stipulated penalty provision in Paragraph 14.b of the May 24, 2023 Consent Order and Agreement--

-- $521,549.62 on June 20, 2023

-- $1,046,766.94 on July 23, 2023

-- $844,373.39 on August 21, 2023

-- $250,791.20 on September 15, 2023

-- $7,563.60 on January 18, 2024”

            These penalties totaled $2,671,044.75.

            In addition, Camarda said, “DEP considers notices of violation issued after May 24, 2023 as open compliance matters and has not assessed or collected a civil penalty for those violations as of today.”

            According to DEP’s Shell Petrochemical Plant webpage, DEP issued three notices of violations after May 24, 2023--

-- July 26, 2023: Wastewater violations exceeding effluent limits;

-- September 11, 2023: Violation of 12-month benzene limit in waste and wastewater; and

-- December 4, 2023: Violation of visible emission limits.

            For more information on reports and violations at the facility, visit DEP’s Shell Petrochemical Plant webpage.

            For more information on environmental programs in Pennsylvania, visit DEP’s website, Report Emergencies, Submit Environmental Complaints; Click Here to sign up for DEP’s newsletter; sign up for DEP’s eNotice; visit DEP’s BlogLike DEP on Facebook, Follow DEP on Twitter and visit DEP’s YouTube Channel.

Related Articles - Shell Petrochemical Plant:

-- DEP: Shell Petrochemical Plant Pays Additional $2,671,044.75 In Civil Penalties For 12-Month Air Quality Violations After May 2023 Consent Order  [PaEN] 

-- Western PA Residents Comment After A Year Of Shell Petrochemical Plant Operations  [PaEN]

-- DEP Signs Consent Order Including $10 Million In Penalties, Local Payments With Shell Petrochemical Plant In Beaver County To Resolve Air Quality Violations; Plant To Restart May 24  [PaEN]

-- PA Taxpayers To Give $130.9 Million In Tax Credits To Subsidize Shell Petrochemical Plant In Beaver County; Total Expected To Be $1.17 Billion Thru 2042; No Regard For Environmental Compliance Record  [PaEN]

Related Articles This Week - Gas:

-- Penn State Study: Conventional Oil & Gas Wastewater Fails To Meet Beneficial Reuse Recommendations For Use As A Dust Suppressant  [PaEN]

-- Citizen Complaint Leads DEP To Breakout Of Mariner East Pipeline Drilling Mud That Contaminated The Lake At Marsh Creek State Park, Chester County; Sunoco Pipeline Starts Cleanup [PaEN] 

-- PUC Adopts Final Regulations Strengthening Operation, Construction Requirements For Intrastate Hazardous Liquids Pipelines  [PaEN]

-- PJM, Electric Grid Operators Recommend Additional Steps To Overcome Vulnerabilities In Natural Gas Infrastructure To Ensure More Reliable Grid Operation  [PaEN]

[Posted: February 22, 2024]  PA Environment Digest

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