It’s time to jump back into action to stop the construction of Shell’s Falcon Pipeline. We need to fill the inbox of the DEP with our legitimate concerns about the Falcon Pipeline, and the Breathe Project has assembled some research to inform your e-mails. (View a sample e-mail here). Read on for more information, then ACT!


The time is now to start sending feedback to the PA DEP regarding Shell’s Falcon Pipeline permit applications.  There has been enough of a review by collaborative members of Shell’s responses to the DEP’s technical deficiency letters to warrant sending feedback that Shell’s responses have been inadequate, and that the DEP should DENY Shell’s applications.

We need you, and your colleagues/members, to write emails to the DEP stating such.

Please send emails to both of these addresses at DEP stating that the DEP should deny the permit applications: and carbon copy Dana Drake, DEP Wetlands Permit Engineer, at

Here is some sample messaging that you can use to craft your emails:

DEP Must Deny Shell Pipeline Company’s Falcon Pipeline Applications – 8/26/2018

The DEP deficiency letters confirmed that Shell failed to execute sound technical judgement in the proposed routing of the Falcon pipeline, especially as it pertains to sedimentation and erosion control and ultimately to public safety and health. Shell’s responses to the DEP letters (Aug. 1, 2018) confirm, once again, that Shell has not done its due diligence and fails to be a good neighbor.

The DEP deficiency letters (June 1, 2018) required many additional responses by Shell. Based on Shell’s failure to adequately respond to these technical concerns and because of the concerns raised by both organizations and citizens, we urge the DEP to DENY the Falcon Pipeline sedimentation and erosion control permits for the following reasons:

  • Shell failed to give the Ambridge Water Authority any assurances that there will be no risk to the region’s water supply, which provides drinking water to 40,000 people. Shell misstated the concerns of the Ambridge Water Authority in its responses to the DEP deficiency letters.
  • The Ambridge Water Authority and Ambridge Borough Council are extremely concerned about the risk presented by the proposed ethane pipeline that would cross through the high-quality headwaters of the Ambridge Reservoir and under the raw service line.
  • The DEP deficiency letters directed Shell to “evaluate and discuss the project’s potential to impact any public water systems and their sources that are within 1-mile of your proposed pipeline system.” This includes private wells near schools, churches, public institutions and private landowners. Locating the Falcon pipeline near sources of drinking water should not be permitted.
  • The DEP cited a number of deficiencies regarding Shell’s lack of attention to sedimentation (Section 102 and 105) and erosion issues. The Shell pipeline will pass through several sensitive wetland areas including the Independence Marsh, home to protected endangered species. Shell’s remediation of wetlands in Mercer and Washington counties is an unacceptable swap for destroying precious conservancy areas in Beaver County.
  • It is our determination that Shell’s responses to the deficiency letters are inadequate.  For this reason we urge the DEP to DENY these permit for the falcon pipeline. The DEP should convene an additional public hearing in order to give other impacted community members the opportunity to express their concerns about Shell’s responses to the deficiency letters.
  • The DEP must uphold the Pennsylvania Environmental Rights Amendment: The people have a right to clean air, pure water and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment. Pennsylvania’s public natural resources are the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come. As trustee of these resources, the Commonwealth shall conserve and maintain them for the benefit of all the people.  – Article I, Section 27 of the Pa. state constitution–the Environmental Rights Amendment.

See the Breathe Project’s post about letter writing and the upcoming rally here:

Background from NoPetroPA

Shell is seeking to build the Falcon Pipeline to bring ethane supplies to the Shell Ethane Cracker plant currently under construction. When Shell applied for a permit for the pipeline permit from the PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the community called on the DEP to host public hearings, which they did, and at which we turned out in a major way to testify against the approval of that permit. (See a sampling of the powerful testimonies here, here, and many more here). Indeed, the vast majority of live testimony was against the approval of the permit. That effort paid off and the PA DEP found “significant technical deficiencies” in Shell’s application (as reported by the Beaver County Times and also noted in PDF letters on the DEP’s website). Shell formally responded to the DEP’s technical deficiency letters and the Breathe Project’s review of that response launched their call to action above. The citizen/regulatory pushback on the Falcon pipeline combined with tariff exemption delays (for non-U.S. steel) puts Shell in an awkward defensive position–particularly in steel country. Now is the time for citizens to push forward. Feel free to post any questions in the comments section of this blog and we’ll find answers for you to the best of our ability!

Here is a video from a recent rally against the Falcon Pipeline at the office of the PA DEP in Pittsburgh:


5 thoughts on “Falcon Pipeline Permit Resistance ROUND 2: Call to Action!

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