Shell Chemicals’ wetland restoration project in Washington County was a success and will continue to be monitored for ongoing results.
Shell was obligated to restore the land impacted by construction in order to obtain the permit necessary to build its $6 billion ethane cracker plant in Potter Township. The company found upon completion of the plant that the construction impacted 13,179 linear feet of streams and 3.62 acres of wetlands in Beaver County. In order to reconcile those impacts, Shell agreed to rehabilitate and monitor 17,673 linear feet of streams and 6.42 acres of wetland in Washington County. The actual work was completed by First Pennsylvania Resource but Shell paid for and oversaw aspects of the project.
A Shell spokesperson, Jose Minnitte, commented on the project’s accomplishments stating, “The project is currently meeting over 95 percent of the performance standards and is progressing amazingly well as it develops into a self-sustaining ecosystem.”
The success of rehabilitating these lands demonstrates how energy companies are willing to cooperate with the Department of Environmental Protection and other regulatory bodies to ensure their projects do not have a negative impact on the surrounding community. Their commitment to ongoing monitoring for the next decade also shows their dedication to the environment and the remediation’s success.
Shell’s success comes as the state DEP is reviewing their permit application for the Falcon pipeline project. If they receive those permits, they will be required again to remediate wetlands to offset any impacts.