After days of silence, the Corbett administration today denied reports that the state would cover clean up costs at the contaminated industrial site in western Pennsylvania where Shell Oil Co. wants to build an ethane plant.
“The report in the Harrisburg news service Capitolwire saying that the state agreed it would pay the cost of site clean-up is false,” said C. Alan Walker, secretary of the Department of Community and Economic Development, in a press release issued jointly with Michael Krancer, secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection.
Also today the Patriot-News of Harrisburg published Walker's defense of hefty tax breaks to Shell to build the Beaver County "cracker" plant that would convert natural gas into ethane used for an array of plastic products.
On the issue of the cleanup, Capitolwire reported that state officials told legislative leaders that the government would handle clean up of the still-operating zinc smelter site. Its owner Horsehead, has racked up numerous federal and state environmental violations and some experts suggest clean up costs could reach into the tens of millions.