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Beaver County residents get little assurance on concerns about Shell cracker plant

More than 100 concerned residents of Beaver County attended a community meeting hosted by Royal Dutch Shell in the town of Beaver Tuesday night, hoping to get their questions answered about the potential environmental impact of the $6 billion cracker plant being built in their community. But some left with the feeling that their queries were unanswered.

The meeting, the third planned by Shell, was held in the College Square Elementary School and opened with an hourlong presentation by company employees. Beaver residents Debbie and Rick Pentz attended the meeting with their granddaughter Alayna, hoping for answers, but found the meeting to be less informative than anticipated.

Debbie Pentz had come prepared with a list of questions, including some inspired by PublicSource’s recent reporting on fenceline monitoring of pollutants entering the community. But Rick complained that the replies seemed scripted and superficial, and Debbie said she couldn’t hear what other attendees were asking or the answers. This was due, in part, to how Shell set up the meeting; instead of an open question-and-answer session, they funnelled the crowd to tables organized by topic to talk with Shell representatives.

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