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Updated: November 15, 2022 | 1:47 pm

Shell’s ethane cracker, a mammoth plastics plant near Pittsburgh, begins operations

Construction of the plant was Pennsylvania’s largest industrial project since World War II, according to Gov. Tom Wolf.

By Reid Frazier

An ethane cracker in western Pa. will soon start up. We answered your questions about it

Reader questions helped focus our attention on the new reality of western Pennsylvania as a petrochemicals hub.

By Reid Frazier

Pa. sees Shell’s ethane cracker as an economic boon. But for some in Beaver County, it’s a reason to leave

Built with the biggest tax break in state history, the plant will employ 600 people permanently. But air pollution and other concerns are driving some people away.

By Reid Frazier

As Shell’s ethane cracker nears startup, people are surveying the Ohio River for plastic nurdles

Environmental groups and researchers want to establish a baseline for the small pieces of plastic, so they can tell if nurdles are getting into the river from the massive plant.

By Julie Grant/The Allegheny Front

In Beaver County, a mix of hope and fear over startup of Shell’s ethane cracker

The ethane cracker received the largest tax subsidy ever in Pa., employed as many as 8,500 during construction, will have 600 permanent jobs and is sparking both hope and concerns from people who live near it.

By Reid Frazier

Ask us your questions about Shell’s new ethane cracker in Pa. We’ll get answers

The plastics plant was the beneficiary of $1.65 billion in tax credits, and will produce 1.6 million tonnes of plastic a year. 

By Reid Frazier

Sulfuric acid spills from storage tank at Shell ethane cracker plant

Shell says the spill was caused by faulty equipment.

By Reid Frazier

DEP cites Shell for ‘malodors’ outside cracker plant construction site

Shell said the odors could be associated with anti-corrosion treatments to the plant’s cooling water tower. 

By Reid Frazier

Updated: March 31, 2021 | 8:35 pm

Alerted by high COVID ‘activity,’ state health officials visited Shell’s Beaver County ethane cracker

Largest construction site in the country had over 100 cases in December; photos show mask policy not always followed.

By Reid Frazier