Shell Cuts Deal with Big Green Groups re Cracker Plant Air Permit

Exactly two years ago, two Big Green groups–the Philadelphia-based Clean Air Council and the Washington, DC-based Environmental Integrity Project (both disgusting litigation factories)–filed a complaint against Shell to block the air quality permit needed to build the $6 billion ethane cracker in Monaca, PA (see Big Green Groups File to Block Shell Cracker Air Quality Permit). The filing came after the state Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) approved the air permit for the facility. The two Big Green groups filed an appeal with the state Environmental Hearing Board–a special court set up to hear appeals of DEP decisions. The groups believe the DEP “should have required more stringent monitoring requirements for fugitive air emissions from Shell.” Specifically the groups want fenceline monitoring and restrictions on flaring. Shell caved and gave them most of what they want, signing a settlement agreement last Friday (copy below). Shell did win one important concession: the litigious Big Green groups can’t sue Shell over any of their wild claims in the original filing…

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