Publication Date

Spring 5-8-2024


Save Our Susquehanna (SOS), is a campaign against Encina, a manufacturing company based in Texas that plans to build a “chemical recycling” plant in Point Township, Pennsylvania. As stated on the SOS website, SOS is a “group of local citizens who are concerned about the health and environmental impacts of a plastics processing facility being proposed for Point Township in Northumberland County, Pennsylvania.” SOS is made up of local residents who live near the proposed site in Northumberland, Danville, Sunbury, Lewisburg, and Selinsgrove. Additionally, SOS is partnered with people from state and national groups who are similarly concerned about the global impacts of the petrochemical industry on communities and the planet, including members of the Climate Reality Project, Clean Air Council, Break Free From Plastics, Sierra Club, Moms Clean Air Force, and Energy Justice. Though there are many people involved in the initiative, the SOS group is led by Sandy Field, a local resident. Encina came to Northumberland County telling locals they intended to run a sustainable plant that they claimed would reduce immense amounts of plastic waste every year. However, the petrochemicals produced by this plant would actually be used to prop up the plastics industry. These petrochemicals could be used elsewhere to manufacture plastics, which would continue and even possibly expand plastic consumption. Local residents were quick to realize that this new model petrochemical plant, the first of its kind, would do more harm than good. Encina plans to take 2.9 million gallons of water from the nearby Susquehanna River every day to heat and break down the plastics being sent via trucks to Point Township into toxic chemicals, including benzene, toluene, xylene, propylene. All of these chemicals pose several health and environmental risks to the families in Northumberland County, as well as the greater Central Pennsylvania region, and the Susquehanna River’s various ecosystems. Upstream and downstream communities such as Bloomsburg and Selinsgrove are at risk of being negatively impacted by the plant as well. SOS was created to bring attention to this crisis and to prevent Encina from embarking on its billion dollar operation. Northumberland County has a population of 90,133. The median household income of this county is $58,987. This is significantly lower than the median household income of Pennsylvania, which is $71,798. The percentage of persons below the poverty line is also higher than the Pennsylvania average, with 14.5% for Northumberland County and 11.8% for Pennsylvania (U.S. Census Bureau 2022). Encina was aware of these disparities and chose Point Township as the location for their plant strategically. They planned on taking advantage of the residents’ need for jobs in Point Township and Northumberland County. Encina has emphasized how their plant would have economic benefits for Northumberland County, but their claims are unfounded. The jobs that would be provided by the plant would be 3 unsafe. SOS’ mission is to spread awareness about Encina to neighboring communities of Point Township so that people are able to collectively voice their concerns.

Course Instructor

Amanda Wooden


Environmental Studies