In the News:

Project consultant takes legal action against Encina, more than $550,000 in invoices unpaid

Written by Anna Wiest with The Daily Item | February 10th, 2024

“Encina officials say they have reached an agreement with a contractor to pay $500,000 in overdue invoices stemming from two agreements, including one dating to March 30, 2022…According to the December lien filing, CH-IV performed substantial work under the agreements which involved improvements on the Point Township property and construction of the planned facility, though the work has not been completed because CH-IV stopped work on the property due to nonpayment.” Press HERE to learn more. 

Encina withdraws permit application for Point Township facility

Written by Anna Wiest with The Daily Item | October 20th, 2023

After an 11-month review by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Encina withdrew a critical permit application this week. The withdrawal will likely be a setback for the Texas-based company’s proposed advanced plastic recycling facility in Point Township, according to the Clean Air Council…The DEP found Encina’s application contained more than a dozen deficiencies and used “wholly inadequate” design and modeling approaches, the council said.” Press HERE to read more. 

Presenters address Encina Point Township concerns at community meeting

Written by Anna Wiest with The Daily Item | October 19th, 2023​

“Five speakers addressed their concerns regarding Encina’s proposed advanced recycling plant in Point Township in a room of more than 70 residents at a community meeting Wednesday night.The speakers during the event at the Danville Borough Ballroom included Mike Kuziak, Danville property owner; Mike Sauers, former recycling businessman; George Rohrer, retired Geisinger physician; Laura Santucci-Burley, a registered nurse at Geisinger and a Point Township homeowner; and Harry Lewis, Northumberland attorney.” Press HERE to read more. 

Encina could make Point Township next East Palestine, Ohio​

Op-Ed written by Jess Conard with the Daily Item | October 15th, 2023​

“How does this relate to East Palestine? Vinyl chloride, the chemical spilled and burned in East Palestine, is primarily used to make PVC plastic. PVC plastic cannot be recycled. When vinyl chloride is burned, it creates phosgene, dioxins, and other hazardous chemicals. The Encina facility wants to process 450,000 tons of post-consumer plastic waste, annually — including PVC plastic.” Press HERE to read more. 

In West Virginia, Plan to Clean up Radioactive Fracking Waste Ends in Monster Lawsuit

Written by Justin Nobel with DeSmog | September 19th, 2023

“Clearwater was a failure,” reads the complaint. “Veolia promised[] a ‘turnkey’ facility” where Antero would “simply ‘turn the key’ and have everything function as intended” but “Veolia failed at every turn,” the complaint alleges. The filing further alleges that Veolia “started cutting corners even before the project started,” “hid” vital design flaws, and made modifications that were “ill-conceived, untested, and poorly implemented” and ultimately “doomed the commercial viability of the facility.” According to the complaint, the idling of the plant in September 2019 had nothing to do with a drop in natural gas prices, the reason Antero officials stated to a Pittsburgh newspaper at the time. The real explanation, the complaint alleges: “The facility simply did not work.”” Press HERE to read more. 

Environmental agencies explain regulatory process at educational forum

Written by Rick Dandes with the Daily Item | July 17th, 2023

““I came because I was curious about what would be said,” Moyer said. “What we need is a real public meeting where questions can be directly asked. We need more public discussions about Encina.” Bambi Hanson, of Liberty Township said she was interested in the permitting process. “I am concerned about the likely negative impact of the proposed Encina plastics facility,” she said. Harlon Jennings, of Sunbury, said there was a lot of information to digest in one sitting. “But it is good to know how the DEP operates. I hope they live up to their name, and protect the environment. We have to hope they do,” Jennings said.”  Press HERE to read more.  

DEP kicks back Encina permit application due to deficiencies

Written by Rick Dandes with the Daily Item | August 14th, 2023

“The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) returned a permit application filed by Encina Fort Union LLC, documenting 19 “deficiencies” in its application for a proposed plastics recycling project in Point Township. Some of the deficiencies were minor things, such as the way things were labeled or described, “but there were some significant deficiencies submitted to DEP,” said Randy Yoxheimer, Point Township Supervisors Board chairman.” Press HERE to read more.  

Save Our Susquehanna Group with More Heavy Encina Criticism

Written by WKOK Staff | June 15th, 2023

“Glenn Moyer of Northumberland says it’s a ‘rhetorical trick’ to think the plant will be for advanced recycling, “The American Chemical Council, that has been lobbying for this, is saying that they’re going to double or triple the production of virgin (recycled) plastics over the next couple of decades. How can that work if its gonna be a circular economy? And that just takes the earth over the limit.”” Press HERE to read more. 

(Daily Item)

Residents raise concerns as Encina officials tout $2B economic impact of proposed recycling plant

Written by Rick Dandes with The Daily Item | June 14th, 2023

“Jobs, the local economy, environmental safety and health concerns surrounding Encina’s proposed plastics recycling facility in Point Township were the predominant questions audience members asked company executives during a 2-hour community outreach at Chief Shikellamy Elementary School’s gymnasium Tuesday night.” Press HERE to read more. 

(James Bruggers / Inside Climate News)

EPA Spurns Trump-Era Effort to Drop Clean-Air Protections For Plastic Waste Recycling

Written by James Bruggers with Inside Climate News | June 3rd, 2023

“The decision, announced by the EPA on May 24, covers pyrolysis and gasification, two processes that use chemical methods to break down plastic waste. Both have largely been regulated as incineration for nearly three decades and have therefore had to meet stringent emission requirements for burning solid waste under the federal Clean Air Act.” Press HERE to read more. 

(Sienna Williams / The Bucknellian)

Students work to halt construction of recycling plant along Susquehanna River

Written by Kelsey Werkheiser with The Bucknellian | April 28th, 2023

“The Save Our Susquehanna group currently has an online petition that has accumulated more than 1,000 signatures, and the students interviewed for this article encourage others to look into it, even if purely to learn more about the situation.” Press HERE to read more. 

(Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association)

From The Banks of the Susquehanna: Plastics, Promises and Potential Pitfalls of an Unprecedented Project

Written by John Zaktansky with Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association Inc,. | April 26th, 2023

“The process is being touted by the company as an answer to a growing plastics crisis on full display along our riverbanks and everywhere else plastic products wind up (such as our landfills). Yet, if this plant is the magical elixir for such a massive issue, why has no respected environmental group embraced the project with open arms? Why the hesitation to just blindly accept and applaud the narrative provided by Encina and its partners?”
Press HERE to read more. 

Plastics recycling plant proposed for Susquehanna shoreline

Written by Ad Crable with the Bay Journal | April 13th, 2023

“Danny Berard, the mayor of Northumberland, just downriver of the proposed plant, has said there are too many unanswered questions about how microplastics would be kept from entering the river, the extent and management of truck traffic and the financial stability of “a start-up company.”The Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association has not taken a position on the project, but Riverkeeper John Zaktansky expressed concern. “There’s just so many red flags in this situation,” he said. “For one thing, we’re concerned with the massive number of plastics sitting on a site within a floodplain.”” Press HERE to read more. 

(Image from the Daily Item)

More than 200 voice concern, support for Encina plan

Written by Rick Dandes with the Daily Item April 13th, 2023

“More than 200 people crowded into the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Susquehanna Valley to share their opinions, both pro and con, of the proposed Encina Plastics Recycling Facility in Point Township, along Route 11.The event was organized by Sandy Field, of Save Our Susquehanna (SOS) as a way for area residents and stakeholders to air their concerns, both environmental and health, about the plans.” Press HERE to read more. 

Residents voice concerns over proposed plastic recycling plant

Produced by the WNEP Web Staff | April 13th, 2023

“‘At first, I thought that this was a good idea, plastics recycling sounds like an excellent plan. We’re concerned about air pollution, water pollution, light pollution, noise pollution, traffic that will be brought to this area, which is a very rural area. We have a beautiful river here,’ said Sandy Field of Save Our Susquehanna.”

Plastic Recycling Plant Could Send Toxic ‘Forever Chemicals’ Into the Susquehanna River, Polluting a Vital Drinking Water Source

Written by James Bruggers with Inside Climate News | April 11th, 2023

“The mayor of the downriver town of Northumberland has joined the growing opposition to the proposed $1.1 billion Encina chemical recycling plant, saying there are too many “red flags”… Several public drinking water treatment plants eight to ten miles downstream from the proposed Encina site draw water from the Susquehanna River, as do others further south in the vicinity of Harrisburg, water officials said. In all, the Susquehanna is a drinking water source for millions of people, including some as far away as Baltimore and Philadelphia. The river is also popular for boating and fishing. And each summer an inflatable dam at Sunbury, near the confluence of the West Branch with the main stem, turns a stretch of the river into Lake Augusta, a water skiing destination.” Press HERE to READ MORE.

Sherri Masondirector of sustainability at Penn State Behrend (Image from Daily Item)

Chemist questions Encina's process

Written by Rick Dandes with the Daily Item | April 9th, 2023

“It is what burned and then what was formed was dioxins, which are the most toxic man-made substance. So Encina will be taking their polymerized vinyl chloride and include it in their process. Anytime you have chlorine, when you burn it, you get dioxin,” Mason said. “This is known”… Mason said the equivalent of one drop of the toxin in a swimming pool would have an impact on human health, Mason said. “Just at that small of a level” … Encina says there are not going to be any air emissions from their facility. ‘There is no other way for me to say it,’ Mason said. “It’s a lie. If you are burning something there are going to be air emissions.'” Press HERE TO READ MORE.

Aerial Image of the proposed Encina site (Image from Daily Item)

Encina recycling process concerns citizens

Written by Rick Dandes with the Daily Item | April 9th, 2023

“‘In order to submit their permits to the state they need to provide data,” Whyne said. “Why can’t we have that data now I’m not against this plant, per se. I am against the concerns they can’t seem to address. There doesn’t seem to be transparency. They hide behind proprietary equipment and design. I’m worried about being sold a bill of goods…Yeah, there will be jobs created, but at what loss to the environment and the neighborhoods downwind of the facility.'” Press HERE TO READ MORE.

Concerns mount over proposed plastics plant

Written by Matt Jones with the Standard Journal | April 3rd, 2023

“A group of residents have banded together over concerns about a proposed plastics recycling facility in Point Township, Northumberland County.’We have health concerns about this plant being in the location that it’s (proposed) . They’re going to be making toxic chemicals from post-consumer plastic waste. Then they’re going to be storing those chemicals on site and shipping those chemicals by rail car,’ said Sandy Field, one of the organizers behind Save Our Susquehanna (S.O.S), a group concerned about the potential health and environmental impacts of the proposed Encina Circular Manufacturing Facility.'” Press HERE TO READ MORE.

Photograph: Munir Uz Zaman/AFP/Getty Images

Plastics cause wide-ranging health issues from cancer to birth defects, landmark study finds

Written by Melissa Davey with The Guardian | March 28th, 2023

“Led by the Boston College Global Observatory on Planetary Health in partnership with Australia’s Minderoo Foundation and the Centre Scientifique de Monaco, the review found “current patterns of plastic production, use, and disposal are not sustainable and are responsible for significant harms to human health … as well as for deep societal injustices”…Coalminers, oil workers and gas field workers who extract fossil carbon feedstocks for plastic production, along with plastic production workers, were at particular risk of harm, the report found.” Press HERE TO READ MORE. 

Encina Chemical Recycling Plant in Pennsylvania Faces Setback: One of its Buildings Is Too Tall

Written by James Bruggers with Inside Climate News | March 15th, 2023

“One of the country’s largest proposed advanced plastics recycling plants is blocked by a zoning board after residents say they don’t want their views near the Susquehanna River blocked by an eight-story building for sorting plastic waste…A proposed $1.1 billion plant for “advanced” recycling of plastic waste in Central Pennsylvania is blocked—for now—by a local zoning board’s decision on height restrictions.” Press HERE TO READ MORE.

Image from the Zoning meeting on March 8th, 2023 (Daily Item 2023)

Point Twp. denies height variance for 80-foot tall Encina project building

Written by Anna Weist with the Daily Item | March 9th, 2023

“Encina Fort Union LLC will not be allowed to erect an 80-foot building along Route 11 in Point Township after the zoning hearing board unanimously denied their application for relief. The Point Township zoning board held a hearing Wednesday night about Encina’s request for relief from the requirements set forth by section 10.3.1 of the township’s zoning ordinance, which limits building height to a maximum of 50 feet in the industrial district.” Press HERE TO READ MORE.

Image of the Susquehanna River (Penn Live 2023)

Susquehanna River North Branch Named 2023 River Of The Year

Written by Wesley Robinson with the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR)

“Flowing from the New York state line to Sunbury near Shikellamy State Park at the confluence with the Susquehanna River West Branch, the Susquehanna River North Branch meanders through eight Pennsylvania counties, including Susquehanna, Bradford, Wyoming, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Columbia, Montour, and Northumberland. A water trail, the Susquehanna River North Branch is widely used by paddlers, anglers, recreational boaters, and wildlife enthusiasts. Recreationalists enjoy the calm, class-I waters which serve as both a playground for experienced boaters to explore the area’s natural and historic offerings, as well as a learning ground for new paddlers to develop their skills.” Press HERE to READ MORE.

Image of the Encina Site off of Route 11 near Dogwood Lane in Point Township, PA (Credit: James Bruggers 2022)

An Environmental Group Challenges a Proposed Plastics ‘Advanced Recycling’ Plant in Pennsylvania

Written by James Bruggers with Inside Climate News | November 8th, 2022

“The chemical industry greased the regulatory skids in Pennsylvania for a controversial plastics recycling method. By challenging a permit decision, critics are saying “Slow down” ….The state’s Department of Environmental Protection used the 2020 law this past summer to determine that the proposal from a Houston-based company, Encina, did not need a waste permit to gather huge volumes of plastic waste and, through a heating and chemical process, turn it into benzene, toluene and xylene. The fuels are used as solvents and feedstocks for the chemical industry, and, according to Encina’s plans, plastic production.”  Press HERE to READ MORE. 

Image of the Susquehanna River (Susquehanna Greenway Partnership)

Written by Sandy Field with the Sierra Club | August 27th, 2022

“The company is touting the recycling process as a “circular” process that will sustainably take plastics out of the waste stream to make chemicals that can then be used in the production of new plastic products. They also say that the vaporization process is a low emissions process. However, there are a number of reasons to believe they are presenting a best-case scenario that does not address residents’ concerns about air and water pollution and health risks associated with the plant.” Press HERE to READ MORE. 

Refuse bags full of materials for recycling in different coloured plastic bags. London, UK. (Photo by In Pictures Ltd./Corbis via Getty Images)

A Houston Firm Says It’s Opening a Billion-Dollar Chemical Recycling Plant in a Small Pennsylvania Town. How Does It Work?

Written by James Bruggers with Inside Climate News | September 6th, 2022

“Gov. Wolf touted jobs and less plastic pollution when the plans were announced in April, but a professor from Carnegie Mellon who’s studied the technology says it can lead to “sustainability fraud.”” Press HERE to READ MORE. 

Informational Videos:

Advanced Recycling: What It Really Is and How It Could Impact PA Residents
By Moms Clean Air Force

Advanced plastics recycling comes to Northumberland County, is this a good thing?