Communities with good neighbors demand and respect principles of good governance when it comes to transparency, accountability and protection of the public.

This came into question on Dec. 13 when the Potter Township Board of Supervisors in Beaver County held a public hearing to consider a proposed conditional use application by Shell Chemical Appalachia for the construction of a petrochemical facility (ethane cracker plant) in the township.

The hearing began at 3 p.m. For the next 6 hours, Shell experts spoke in an attempt to convey that their plans met the township’s codes and ordinances for light emissions, traffic mitigation and noise levels. Media organizations widely covered this part of the meeting.

Unfortunately for the public, township supervisors kept the hearing going late into the night until 1 a.m. It was only after 11 p.m. that a panel of three independent experts delivered their assessments of the Shell application. By that time, most of the media organizations (and public) had left.

As a result, the public missed an opportunity to hear testimony that showed that Shell’s application did not contain enough information for independent experts to verify whether the proposed plant design adheres to Potter Township’s codes and ordinances for lighting, noise and traffic.

Fortunately, a video captured this segment of the public hearing. As viewers will see, all three independent experts unequivocally testified that the application lacked critical information. In addition Shell did not have the traffic study approved and signed off by a professional engineer.

Responsible and transparent governance means that Potter Township Supervisors should reject Shell’s petition for their conditional use permit. At the very least, supervisors should demand re-submission of the application to ensure verifiable compliance with codes and ordinances. A re-submitted application should be reviewed by independent experts in a transparent way – at reasonable hours – to be evaluated properly.

People deserve to live in healthy neighborhoods and communities. Shell needs to be held accountable to the codes and ordinances on the books of Potter Township. Potter Township Supervisors must exercise their responsibility to make sure that its residents, and its neighbors and visitors, are protected. Tell Potter Township Supervisors to Reject Shell’s Conditional Use Application.

Contact them at:

Rebecca Matsco, Chairwoman
300 Mowry Road, Monaca, PA 15061
Phone: 724-774-2884

Earl Shamp, Vice Chairman
226 Mowry Road, Monaca, PA 15061
Phone: 724-495-3749

Al Cwynar, Supervisor
112 Mowry Road, Monaca, PA 15061
Phone: 724-495-3189

Write Letters to the Editor of your local paper letting them know that Potter Township should follow transparent and responsible government by rejecting Shell’s permit application and demanding evaluation by independent experts.

(Click here to watch the video)
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This video call to action has been endorsed by the following organizations:
Clean Water Action
Clean Air Council
Women for a Healthy Environment
Cracker Plant Initiative
Beaver County Marcellus Awareness Committee
Allegheny County Clean Air Now

Video created by Mark Dixon, Blue Lens, LLC
This post was written via a community collaboration. I did not write it but had input into its contents.

Thanks for reading and sharing!

Mark Dixon