Shell views sustainability as providing essential energy for a growing population in a responsible way. Over the past 100 years, Shell has continued to help preserve and protect our communities through hundreds of conservation projects and initiatives.
- As part of the State of Pennsylvania’s Voluntary Cleanup Program, Shell invested $80 million in environmental cleanup work to repurpose an industrial site under Act 2 standards and guidelines
- Moved 7.2 million cubic yards-plus of fill to cover entire site with average 7 feet, up to 14 feet in most areas
- Built culverts and added barriers designed to prevent impacted media from reaching streams, river and groundwater. Installed groundwater wells and other monitoring measures
- Control all rainwater onsite
- Working closely with regulatory agencies to ensure compliance with all applicable requirements
Restoring and Enhancing Wetlands
- Shell worked with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to restore and enhance a wetland property, Cross Creek, located in the same watershed as the plant.
- The land in Cross Creek was formerly impaired but now supports fish and aquatic life;
- Wetland and riparian vegetation have reestablished and are thriving;
- The restoration work was designed to improve groundwater recharge to the streams as well as provides natural flood control;
Monitoring results show:
- The project is currently meeting more than 95% of established performance standards and is now a self-sustaining ecosystem; and
- The number and quality of warm and cold-water fish and macroinvertebrate species (worms, snails and aquatic insects) have increased which indicates water quality is high-value.
The mitigation work at Cross Creek:
- Restored 17,764 linear feet of streams;
- Restored 6.42 acres of wetlands; and
- Included planting over 500 saplings or seeds per acre, including red oak, dogwood, black willow and hawthorn trees, and native grasses and flowers.
Environmental Improvements at the Site
As part of an agreement with the State of Pennsylvania, Shell invested $80 million in environmental work to repurpose an industrial site under Act 2 guidelines.
Specific activities include:
- Moved 7.2 million cubic yards-plus of fill to cover entire site with average 7 feet, up to 14 feet in most contaminated areas
- Built culverts and added barriers to prevent contamination from reaching streams, river and groundwater
- Installed groundwater wells and other monitoring measures
- Restored wetlands in watershed
- Revegetating riverbank with native species, stabilize banks
- Control all rainwater onsite
- Working closely with regulatory agencies to ensure compliance with all requirements
In addition to the Act 2 Plan with the State, Shell also worked with the Center Township Water Authority to relocate their intake water wells to a location further upriver from their previous location. In the process, Shell invested $69 million for a wastewater treatment plant for Center Township.
Overcoming Sustainability Challenges
Shell recognizes sustainability challenges and we must address them while also delivering polyethylene and other products that are ubiquitous within our economy and ways of living.
Alliance to End Plastic Waste
Shell is a founding member of the Alliance to End Plastic Waste, a global non-profit, whose goal is to help every plastic resin handling operation achieve net zero plastic resin loss. The Alliance, which is made up of a consortium of industrial, consumer facing, and other companies, addresses the plastics resin loss issue, particularly in the marine environment. Much of its efforts focus on six rivers in the less developed parts of the Eastern Hemisphere where upwards of 80% of the world’s marine plastics pollution originates. Learn more here.
Operation Clean Sweep
Shell Polymers Monaca is a proud blue member of Operation Clean Sweep (OCS), an international program designed to prevent resin pellets, flakes and powder loss and help keep these materials out of the environment. Employees have taken the pledge and received extensive training in implementing good housekeeping and containment practices to uphold our commitment to achieve zero plastic resin loss. Learn more about OCS.
Plastics Circular Economy
At Shell, we believe the solution to the plastics pollution problem includes the creation of a circular economy, wherein plastic waste is marshalled, and then broken down into its chemical components, where they can then be used either as a fuel source or a feedstock for a new generation of plastic. To that end, we have designed and built a plastics recycling unit at our refinery and chemical complex outside of New Orleans. We are also looking to put these in place near other chemical plants here on this continent as well as in Europe and Asia.
Locally in Pennsylvania, there is momentum to create a circular plastics economy. On November 25, 2020, Governor Tom Wolf signed into law H.B. 1808, which enables advanced plastics recycling in the Keystone State. With the enactment of this Pennsylvania bill, there are now nine states in the U.S. with legislation to enable such plastics recycling.
Recycling and Sustainability in Beaver County, Pennsylvania
Shell supports local recycling by making a $225 donation to the Beaver County Department of Sustainability and Waste Management. The money was used to extend recycling collection hours at the recycling facility, hire a full time recycling center manager, and create recycling programs in area schools.
At the site of Shell Polymers Monaca, nearly six miles of roads and forty-seven thousand square yards of parking lots were paved with asphalt that incorporates recycled plastic additive to enhance the asphalt (bitumen) mix. The paving project utilized the equivalent of three million plastic grocery bags, reducing waste in landfills.
The Alliance has already started investments and projects, with four strategic pillars:
- Infrastructure: Catalyse investment in enhanced waste infrastructure to prevent plastic from reaching the environment.
- Innovation: Innovate new sustainable materials, designs, technologies and business models based on sound science and economics.
- Education: Engage and collaborate with governments, industry and consumers to drive effective solutions.
- Clean-up: Develop solutions to address and clean up areas of existing plastic waste in the environment.
Read more about the alliance on its website: www.endplasticwaste.org
Explore additional Environmental Initiatives
Watch our video: NORCO Manufacturing Facility circular economy
Read our Project Air Quality Brochure
Shell in the community
Community Care Team at Shell Polymers has been created to specifically focus on the needs of our neighbors.
Shell Polymers supports education through the Shell Center for Process Technology.
What is polyethylene?
Learn more about polyethylene and its varying uses in many products essential to modern living.