Natural Gas Facilities in PA Raise Concerns Over Air Pollution

From StateImpact Pennsylvania comes an article about the plans to build large natural gas processing plants in different areas, and the concerns surrounding the operation of such facilities.

An excerpt:
So what do these nat­ural gas crack­ers and split­ters do? In a nut­shell, they take nat­ural gas by-products and turn them into the essen­tial ingre­di­ents for plas­tics – things like eth­yl­ene and polypropy­lene. And those lit­tle polypropy­lene pel­lets get turned into the plas­tic bags we use to carry groceries.
Shell says the ethane cracker planned for Beaver County will pro­duce more than a mil­lion tons of eth­yl­ene a year.
And with that comes poten­tially unhealthy, or car­cino­genic lev­els of air emis­sions like car­bon diox­ide, nitro­gen oxide, ben­zene and volatile organic com­pounds. David Hart­ley is with the Clean Air Council.
“Basi­cally what that means is lots of increased ground level ozone and par­tic­u­late mat­ter,” says Hartley.
Hart­ley says Shell’s cracker emis­sions could rank up there with a large 500 megawatt coal burn­ing power plant. 
Read the rest of the article here.
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