The Beaver County Times reports Shell Chemicals has filed a permit with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to build two docks and 24 smaller structures to moor barges near the site of its proposed ethane cracker in western Pennsylvania.
When asked whether the application signaled a new level of commitment from Shell, [spokesman Michael Marr] responded, “As we have previously communicated, acquisition of the necessary permits is a prerequisite for Shell reaching a stage where a final investment decision could be considered.”
At this point, [Army Corps regulatory specialist Josh Shaffer] said, Army Corps reviewers are “diving into the technical aspects” of the application, which was submitted in February. Shaffer said the Army Corps will review the application’s compliance with provisions under the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 and the Clean Water Act.
“Things are moving along pretty efficiently,” Shaffer said of the process, which also involves other regulatory agencies, such as the state Department of Environmental Protection.
Shell first proposed the multi-billion dollar plant in July 2011, but has not fully committed to the project yet. The facility would rely on natural gas liquids from the Marcellus Shale to create compounds used in the manufacturing of plastics.
At a public meeting last spring, the company said it may spend another one to two years deciding whether to move forward.