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Here’s what’s happening as the result of Shell’s recent fine

Over the past six weeks, 16 Beaver County stakeholders have been working closely with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to determine how best to manage the $5 million Environmental Mitigation Community Fund established due to Shell’s repeated air pollution violations at its Monaca facility.

Featured

Democratizing solar energy in Pennsylvania
There’s a movement happening across the state to expand community solar. Supporters say it will allow for a reduction in electricity bills, lower maintenance costs, diversify a community’s energy portfolio, and create a more resilient region.
Chrissy Suttles
$5M in environmental project funding up for grabs in Beaver County
BEAVER COUNTY, Pa. — Millions of dollars earmarked for environmental projects in Beaver County are up for grabs. The money comes from part of a settlement with Shell over violations from its Monaca Cracker Plant. The $5 million fund is one of the biggest of its kind in state history, according to the Department of Environmental Protection.
WPXI News
Why Beaver County continues to falter
Time and again, dysfunction rears its head in Beaver County in a way that, quite paradoxically, demonstrates a sophisticated kind of leadership, albeit leadership that is intent on quashing progress rather than nurturing it. So, for those tempted to assume that Beaver County’s problems can be chalked up merely to poor leadership skills demonstrated by elected officials, I would caution you against that simplistic answer.
Beaver County Times
Planned food hub gets grant funding
Nonprofit RiverWise received a $49,000 state grant to move forward with the planning and design of a community food hub in Beaver County. The funding, administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture through the Pennsylvania Farm Bill's Urban Agriculture Infrastructure Grant Program, is centered on expanding the supply of fresh food in underserved areas.
Beaver County Times
Speaker series to feature arborist, biology professor
Join us at The Current's speaker series event sponsored by RiverWise and Penn State Beaver, featuring certified arborist Jeff Karwoski and Assistant Professor of Biology Autumn Sabo. Discover the vital role of trees in community development, learn from cutting-edge forestry research, and engage in interactive discussions to create actionable tree plans for local neighborhoods. Dive into a world where ecology meets community, and explore how we can collectively foster a greener, healthier environment. This free event will be held at Penn State Beaver, offering insights into tree impact, forest plant interactions, and sustainable management techniques.
Penn State University News

Articles

Democratizing solar energy in Pennsylvania
There’s a movement happening across the state to expand community solar. Supporters say it will allow for a reduction in electricity bills, lower maintenance costs, diversify a community’s energy portfolio, and create a more resilient region.
Chrissy Suttles
$5M in environmental project funding up for grabs in Beaver County
BEAVER COUNTY, Pa. — Millions of dollars earmarked for environmental projects in Beaver County are up for grabs. The money comes from part of a settlement with Shell over violations from its Monaca Cracker Plant. The $5 million fund is one of the biggest of its kind in state history, according to the Department of Environmental Protection.
WPXI News
Planned food hub gets grant funding
Nonprofit RiverWise received a $49,000 state grant to move forward with the planning and design of a community food hub in Beaver County. The funding, administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture through the Pennsylvania Farm Bill's Urban Agriculture Infrastructure Grant Program, is centered on expanding the supply of fresh food in underserved areas.
Beaver County Times
Speaker series to feature arborist, biology professor
Join us at The Current's speaker series event sponsored by RiverWise and Penn State Beaver, featuring certified arborist Jeff Karwoski and Assistant Professor of Biology Autumn Sabo. Discover the vital role of trees in community development, learn from cutting-edge forestry research, and engage in interactive discussions to create actionable tree plans for local neighborhoods. Dive into a world where ecology meets community, and explore how we can collectively foster a greener, healthier environment. This free event will be held at Penn State Beaver, offering insights into tree impact, forest plant interactions, and sustainable management techniques.
Penn State University News
'The Current' returns Oct. 4 to Penn State Beaver with filmmaker Kevin Schreck
MONACA, Pa. — Beaver County leaders and community members are invited to Penn State Beaver for a film screening and discussion as part of “The Current,” a Beaver County Speaker Series. Penn State Beaver and RiverWise are hosting “The Current” at 6 p.m. on Oct. 4 in the Student Union Building Auditorium and Lodge at Penn State Beaver. The featured speaker will be documentary filmmaker Kevin Schreck, the 2023 visiting filmmaker at Robert Morris University.
Penn State University News
Why Beaver County continues to falter
Time and again, dysfunction rears its head in Beaver County in a way that, quite paradoxically, demonstrates a sophisticated kind of leadership, albeit leadership that is intent on quashing progress rather than nurturing it. So, for those tempted to assume that Beaver County’s problems can be chalked up merely to poor leadership skills demonstrated by elected officials, I would caution you against that simplistic answer.
Beaver County Times
DOE grants rural Pennsylvania county $100,000 to go solar
Three regional nonprofit organizations – RiverWise, the Pennsylvania Solar Center and New Sun Rising – have joined into a new partnership called Rural Innovation through Solar Empowerment (RISE) and will receive $100,000 from the U.S. Dept. of Energy to help Beaver County, Pennsylvania, organizations in Justice40 communities go solar. Administered through the DOE’s Energizing Rural Communities Program, the funds will help the partner team guide businesses, nonprofits and other non-residential organizations in making the transition to solar energy and in joining the new clean energy economy.
Solar Power World
Here’s what’s happening as the result of Shell’s recent fine
Over the past six weeks, 16 Beaver County stakeholders have been working closely with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to determine how best to manage the $5 million Environmental Mitigation Community Fund established due to Shell’s repeated air pollution violations at its Monaca facility.
Beaver County Times
DEP Announces $5 Million From Shell Cracker Plant Payment to be Used for Projects with Environmental, Health, or Quality of Life Benefits in Beaver County
Pittsburgh, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today announced that the Environmental Mitigation Community Fund steering committee has finalized the protocol to allocate $5 million in funding for community projects in Beaver County. The protocol establishes the basic outline of how the Environmental Mitigation Community Fund will be distributed and what entities are eligible to apply for funding. The Shapiro Administration secured the $5 million, one of the largest funds in Pennsylvania history, as part of its settlement of air quality violations by Shell Chemical Appalachia, LLC (Shell) during the commissioning of the company’s cracker plant in Potter Township.
PA.gov
PA DEP Forms Ctte to Dole Out $5M in Shell Cracker Shakedown Cash
Although Shell maintains flaring and accidental emissions from its new multi-billion-dollar ethane cracker in Beaver County, PA, have not violated state and federal air standards, the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) says they have–on numerous occasions. Shell didn’t argue the point, and in May, the company agreed to pay nearly $10 million in fines and “contributions” to benefit local communities (see Shell Cracker Agrees to $10M Shakedown from PA, Restarting Now). The DEP announced yesterday that it had appointed a 17-member committee to figure out how to dole out $5 million to fund local community projects near the cracker.
Marcellus Drilling News
DEP Announces Steering Committee for $5 Million Environmental Mitigation Community Fund, Committee to Host Open Meeting
Pittsburgh, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today announced the members of a steering committee who will be tasked with developing a protocol to allocate $5 million in funding for community projects in Beaver County. The Shapiro Administration secured the funding as part of its settlement of air quality violations by Shell Chemical Appalachia, LLC during the commissioning of its cracker plant in Potter Township. The Environmental Mitigation Fund steering committee will take public feedback into account as they develop the allocation protocol and will host an open meeting for the public on Thursday, July 13, 2023, from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM at the Community College of Beaver County’s Learning Resources Center (Room 9103) at 1 Campus Drive, Monaca, PA 15061. Community organizations with representation on the steering committee, RiverWise and Beaver County Marcellus Awareness Community (BCMAC), will livestream the meeting on each organization’s Facebook pages to maximize community participation and access. The committee and staff from DEP’s Office of Environmental Justice (OEJ) will be on hand to provide information and answer questions about the fund.
PA.gov
Shell’s good neighbor claims an insult to Ohio River communities
About 10 years ago, my neighbor’s woodshed caught on fire in the middle of the night. Just before going to bed, my neighbor placed hot coals from his fireplace in a bucket, doused them with water, and went to sleep. Sometime later, in the wee hours of the morning, another neighbor discovered that a raging fire had engulfed the shed and was threatening to ignite both adjacent homes. Springing into action, our mutual neighbor called the fire department, woke up the owner of the shed, and together they worked to keep the flames from spreading to our homes by using a nearby garden hose until the fire department arrived.
Daniel Rossi-Keen
Speaker series connects leaders, residents in region
MONACA, Pa. — Beaver County leaders and community members are invited to attend the second event for “The Current: A Beaver County Speaker Series.” Penn State Beaver and RiverWise are hosting “The Current”at 6:30 p.m. May 17 in the Student Union Building Lodge at Penn State Beaver. The featured speaker will be Robin Bower, associate professor of Spanish in comparative literature at Penn State Beaver.
Penn State University News
RiverWise and New Sun Rising to release the Creative Advocacy Playbook - Beaver County Radio
Scattered across Southwestern PA, nonprofits, educational institutions, religious organizations, foundations, activists and more are working toward asserting greater agency over the future of their communities. Since the fall of the steel industry, community leaders have regularly lamented regional division as well as a misaligned direction for the future, making many residents of the region uncertain of how to formulate effective, sustainable change.
Beaver County Radio
Beaver County Local Historians Gathering Oral Histories Related to East Palestine Train Derailment
Darlington – Located in northwestern Beaver County not far from East Palestine, Ohio–site of the now infamous Norfolk Southern train derailment on February 3, 2023–the Little Beaver Historical Society is hosting a public event called “Stories for History” to capture, preserve and share first-hand accounts and memories of the train derailment and its aftermath, including the so-called “controlled burn off” of several chemical tank cars.
Ellwood City Ledger