Beaver County Residents Respond to Ethane Cracker News

Reid R. Frazier & Charlee Song March 16, 2012

Several residents of Beaver County heard yesterday for the first time about Shell’s decision to locate a new ethane cracker in Monaca where Horsehead has been manufacturing zinc.

Mary Ann Musloe, a Monaca resident, said there haven’t been enough jobs since the steel mills closed, and Horsehead had given notice that they were going to move south for better economic incentives. The county and state, she said, need to do more to keep companies here.

Estee Cron, who works in Monaca, said jobs are welcome, but she wondered if the new plant will be safe. “I’m sure they use chemicals and all that stuff … we don’t need any more pollution … we have enough pollution in this town.”

Fritz Masters, who lives in Monaca, said he’s about to retire, but the people coming up in the work force will need jobs — especially jobs with a decent wage, which have been in short supply since the steel mills closed.

Debbie Grigg said she hopes Shell will employ the current zinc plant employees, who have worked so hard and cannot afford to lose their jobs.

Horsehead has said it will leave Monaca by April 30, 2014 if Shell exercises the land-option agreement for its ethane cracker petrochemical plant.