It’s time for this bad neighbor to go

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Regarding the PG’s March 26 editorial “Shenango’s Duty: DTE Energy Must End Its ‘Horrendous’ Record,” the Shenango coke works does not want to become a good neighbor and has no such intention. Shenango produces 350,000 tons of coke a year. With coke fluctuating between $331 per ton and $395 per ton, Shenango grosses between $115 million and $138 million a year.

So when it consistently violates our air with toxic and cancerous emissions and receives paltry fines every few years like the $1.75 million penalty in 2012, it is obvious that Shenango has little incentive to be a good neighbor. And it is not. Shenango paid the penalty and continued right on violating air quality standards on 330 days in a 432-day period ending Sept. 30, 2013. So much for DTE Energy’s claims that things are improving.

Aren’t our children and our health worth more than these cancer-causing agents that Shenango spews into the air? Shenango doesn’t think so. It doesn’t pay for the care of the asthma, increased cancer risk and other pulmonary diseases its pollution causes. Even Chris Kiesling, the new plant manager at Shenango who recently moved to the region, knew better than to buy a house in the neighborhood. Do you wonder why?

Shenango has had far too many chances to clean up. Enough already with the consent decrees; it’s time for Shenango to go. Shut the plant down.

Ben Avon Borough Council Member
Ben Avon

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