What does flaring on the site mean to residents living around the plant?
You may notice a pilot light in our elevated flare and ground flares. We don’t anticipate flaring to be a regular occurrence and take steps to minimize inconvenience to the community and interruptions in our operations with flaring activity. Please note if you do see flaring on occasion, it is a safety mechanism designed to ensure continued safe operation of the facility. Flares are a means of destructing hydrocarbons at up to 99% destruction efficiency.
Isn’t there a better solution than flaring? It’s a waste of the gas and bad for the environment.
Flaring is an important safety device and also serves as the single most effective device to reduce emissions through the entire site. Most process streams are routed to our ground flare and thermal oxidizers and this process reduces emissions with a minimum of 98+% efficiency. The elevated flare is also used as a safety mechanism to ensure the safe operation of the facility and to reduce emissions.
How often does Shell Polymers Monaca flare?
Shell Polymers Monaca typically flares at startup, during unit shutdowns and turnarounds which typically occurs approximately once every five years. Abnormal flaring may also occur as needs dictate.
Will the community be notified in advance, or after, an abnormal flaring event?
In the event of an unplanned flaring event, the community will be notified once we identify the cause of the need to flare and will share that with you.
What chemicals are being released during flaring? What are the potential contaminants?
Components potentially released during flaring may include particulate matter, volatile organic compounds, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. For further information, please refer to our air permit on the PA Department of Environmental Protection website.
Is this a new flaring process, or has this exact process been done before? What are the potential safety concerns during the process of flaring for residents specifically in regard to air pollution?
The flaring process is a common practice by the industry and an acceptable method approved by the regulating community and is permitted by the PA Department of Environmental Protection. More information on our air permit.
Is it technically possible to capture emissions instead of flaring excess material? Why can’t the hydrocarbons burned in the flares be captured, sent to other users, and used as fuel for other energy needs?
The flare is designed to combust, and thereby reduce emission levels.