Shell reports sulfuric acid spill at cracking plant
POTTER TWP. – Shell Polymers reported a 2,500 gallon sulfuric acid spill at the Beaver County ethane cracker site on Saturday.
A solution containing sulfuric acid and water leaked from a storage tank at the facility’s wastewater treatment plant around 9:30 a.m. on March 19, the company reported to the Center. national federal response. The dump was captured in a pre-existing secondary containment tank and never left the site, Shell told regulators.
Employees are investigating the source of the release and “early indications” point to a flange valve – or hose connector – failure on a 50,000 gallon tank installed in late 2020.
The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency forwarded the NRC report to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection around 6:40 p.m. on March 19, a DEP spokesperson confirmed Thursday. A full incident report is pending.
Continued:Shell hit with county chemical smell violations
A Shell operator noticed the release during routine patrols.
“There was no harm to personnel, the community or the environment as a result of this event,” Shell representatives said Thursday. “Maintaining environmental compliance and timely reporting of potential incidents are top priorities for Shell. We will continue to keep environmental authorities informed as we continue our investigation into this matter.”
Dozens of Beaver County residents have joined an ‘Eyes on Shell monitoring team’ over the past few months to monitor air, water and other pollutants near the plant as construction continues. ended. Members of the group questioned on Thursday why the public had not been informed of the crash sooner.
Continued:Beaver County gears up for petrochemicals as Shell cracker nears completion
“I worked at a plant that made sulfuric acid in the past and I know how toxic this material is to public health,” said Beaver County Marcellus Outreach Community Member Bob Schmetzer. , in a statement made by the Breathe project. “Breathing the gas can be suffocating. It is essential that the public and all emergency agencies be notified immediately in the event of a spill at the Shell plant. We must remain on our guard. »
The multi-billion dollar project, which will convert natural gas into ethylene used in the manufacture of plastics, is expected to be operational in the coming months – possibly as early as this summer. Crews recently completed lighting pilots on elevated and ground flares near the west side of the plant.
Chrissy Suttles covers business, energy and the environment for the Beaver County Times and the USAToday Network. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @ChrissySuttles.