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Immediately Put OGI Equipment to Use for Community Safety at Shell Polymers Monaca

Urge PA DEP to use FLIR OGI

DEP Southwest Regional Office

400 Waterfront Drive

Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Jim Miller, Regional Director


We are writing to urge the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) to immediately put the agency's FLIR Optical Gas Imaging (OGI) equipment and trained staff to use at Shell Polymers Monaca for the community's safety.

Within six months of operation, this facility has received seven Notices of Violation, and submitted at least thirteen Malfunction Reports, almost 40 reported malfunction incidents (39) and fifteen Notices of Violation. Only after community members’ complaints of health impacts (including nausea, headaches, coughs, dizziness, and blurred vision) prompted inquiries, did Shell finally admit to a release of 300 pounds of benzene to the air from the wastewater treatment plant.

PA DEP’s refusal to take proactive action is a failure to protect the health of the community and environment. We urge the PA DEP to immediately meet with representatives from Eyes On Shell and take action to temporarily shut down the plant to protect the workers and community.

Additionally, we support Physicians for Social Responsibility Pennsylvania's call urging DEP to use their FLIR Optical Gas Imaging (OGI) equipment in response to residents complaints of foul smells and visual activity, especially at night; to record and store the images for public access; and to use the FLIR OGI during frequent unannounced inspections. PA DEP used tax-payer dollars to purchase the OGI FLIR equipment, and train and certify PA DEP staff to operate the equipment. To fulfill its mission to protect Pennsylvania's air, land and water from pollution and to provide for the health and safety of its citizens through a cleaner environment, it is the obligation of the PA DEP to put the FLIR OGI equipment and trained, certified staff to use in service to and protection of Pennsylvanians.

Thank you,

Physicians for Social Responsibility Pennsylvania


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1 Comment

Alvin Palmer
Alvin Palmer
Aug 02, 2023

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