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Will Amazon want to be downwind of the Shell cracker plant?

Oct 7, 2017: One of Amazon’s considerations in choosing a location for its second headquarters is quality of life. If Amazon gets wind of what emissions will spew forth from the Shell cracker plant under construction in Beaver County — and surely it knows — it doesn’t bode well. For any of us.

We, Amazon or otherwise, are all downwind of the pollutants yet to come, with intimidating names like VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and NOs (nitrogen oxides), which combine to make ozone, which makes it hard to breathe. The projected amount is three times that emitted at our Clairton Coke Works. The projected emission of CO2, carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, is over 2 million tons annually.

This will be the first of the petrochemical facilities. One such plant breeds others, resembling what is known as Cancer Alley in Louisiana. We saw what happened with the petrochemical facilities during the recent hurricane in Texas. Waterlogged. You can be sure that such future facilities will be located on higher ground, like Beaver County.

It’s easy to feel powerless, but as the saying goes, “Don’t mourn, organize!” There are plenty of local organizations and movements to protect our quality of life, and they welcome our participation. You could start with ​www.facebook.com/​ShellCrackerImpact/.

BETTE McDEVITT
North Side

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