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Environmental Mitigation Community Fund

What’s New

The application period for Environmental Mitigation Community Fund projects will run from January 4, 2024 through February 29, 2024. See the application section below for more information and a link to the application.

Background

In June 2016, Shell Chemical Appalachia LLC (Shell) proposed plans to construct a petrochemicals complex in Potter Township, Beaver County. Shell has renamed the facility Shell Polymers Monaca Site. The facility includes an ethylene cracker that uses ethane (a natural gas product) to produce polyethylene (a common type of plastic). This first-of-its-kind facility in Pennsylvania required several complex environmental reviews, approvals, and permits from DEP for new construction, remediation of contamination from previous industrial activities on the property, and operation. The facility has been constructed and began operating in fall 2022.

On May 24, 2023, DEP and Shell executed a consent order and agreement (COA) in which Shell formally acknowledged that the company exceeded total emission limitations for air contaminants and agreed to make repairs to reduce future exceedances, pay a $4,935,023 million civil penalty, and spend $5 million to fund Environmental Mitigation Community Projects to benefit the environment, heath, and quality of life of the community near the facility.

Steering Committee

DEP announced members of the steering committee who will be tasked with developing a protocol to allocate the $5 million Environmental Mitigation Community Fund for projects to benefit the environment, heath, and quality of life 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.

Protocol

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.

Protocol Implementation Plan

The Environmental Mitigation Community Fund Steering Committee has finalized the Protocol Implementation Plan to govern the composition of the Advisory Board as well as the selection and distribution of awards for approved projects.

Advisory Board

DEP announced the advisory board comprised of members representing organizations serving Beaver County and those spearheading environmental justice within DEP that recommend community project applications for selection and award funding.

Environmental Mitigation Community Fund Application

The application period for Environmental Mitigation Community Fund projects will run from January 4, 2024 through February 29, 2024. The application is housed on The Pittsburgh Foundation’s website.

Eligible community projects must benefit the environment, health, and/or quality of life to residents of Beaver County. Prohibited projects include, lobbying, legal services or representation, promotion of hate, discrimination, or violence, and direct advocacy against any party to the COA, government entity, or private and/or public organization, Proposed projects must be in Beaver County.

The advisory board will approve at least one project that provides for regular, independent testing of the air quality in the vicinity of the facility and at least one project focusing on meaningful community education and engagement that fosters civic participation.

Organizations eligible to apply for project funding must be described as a 501(c)(3) organization by the IRS or partner with a 501(c)(3) organization and must be either based in Beaver County or partner with a Beaver County-based organization.

Projects Recommended for Funding

On Wednesday, May 15, 2024, DEP announced that the advisory board has recommended 21 projects for funding to benefit the environment, heath, and quality of life of the Beaver County community.

Public Engagement

In-Person and Virtual Public Meetings

The Environmental Mitigation Community Fund steering committee held an open meeting to receive community feedback on Thursday, July 13, 2023 at the Community College of Beaver County as they worked to develop the fund allocation protocol.

Meeting livestreams were offered by RiverWise and Beaver County Marcellus Awareness Community (BCMAC) through each organization’s Facebook page to maximize community participation and access.

The Environmental Mitigation Community Fund advisory board held two in-person meetings at Penn State Beaver and one virtual public meeting to provide information, answer questions, and listen to feedback from the public on the protocol implementation plan, the application process, eligible projects and organizations, and the selection process and criteria. In-person meeting livestreams are offered by RiverWise through the organization’s Facebook page to maximize community participation and access.

Public Engagement Events Flyer (PDF)

Virtual Public Meeting
Date and Time: Thursday, January 11, 2024 at 6:00 PM
Meeting recording.

In-Person Public Meeting
Date and Time: Wednesday, January 17, 2024 at 6:00 PM
Meeting Recording

In-Person Public Meeting
Date and Time: Wednesday, January 31, 2024 at 6:00 PM
Meeting Recording

In-Person Public Meeting
Date and Time: Wednesday, May 29, 2024 at 6:00 PM
Location: Penn State Beaver Student Union Building Lodge, 100 University Drive, Monaca, PA 15061

Virtual Question & Answer Sessions

The advisory board held two virtual Q&A sessions for prospective applicants.

  • Virtual Q&A Session 1: January 24, 2024 from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
  • Virtual Q&A Session 2: February 13, 2024 from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM

Virtual Office Hours with DEP Special Deputy Secretary for the Office of Environmental Justice, Fernando Treviño.

DEP held virtual office hours via Microsoft Teams on Tuesday January 9 - 30, 2024 from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Contact

DEP welcomes community feedback on the Environmental Mitigation Community Fund.

Related Information

Office of Environmental Justice

Shell Falcon Ethane Pipeline

Facility Information