Incentives Enable Old Sites to Be Remediated
At one time our “Steel Valley,” was one of the great steel regions of the world, hosting mills along the Mahoning River from Warren to the Pennsylvania line. Fierce competition from overseas, followed by the closing of Youngstown Sheet and Tube in the 1970s started a long slide in industrial production in the region. Yes, a few of the old plants have reopened, but great stretches of industrial land lie fallow, not producing profits, tax revenues nor jobs.
However, the location and attributes that once made northeastern Ohio attractive for industrial development – interstate highway systems, water transportation via the Great Lakes and Ohio River, natural resources, skilled workforce and proximity to markets – remain. The exploration of natural gas and natural gas liquids in the Utica and Marcellus shale formations will incentivize cracker plants and plastics factories throughout the Ohio Valley. The Shell cracker plant under construction in Monaca, Pa., will not be the first such operation.