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File #: 190676    Version: 0 Name:
Type: Resolution Status: ADOPTED
File created: 9/12/2019 In control: CITY COUNCIL
On agenda: Final action:
Title: Authorizing the Committees on Environment and Legislative Oversight to hold joint hearings to assess options for the future of the refinery complex owned by Philadelphia Energy Solutions.
Sponsors: Councilmember Johnson, Councilmember Reynolds Brown, Councilmember Green, Councilmember Henon, Councilmember Gym, Councilmember Parker, Councilmember Blackwell, Councilmember Taubenberger, Councilmember Jones, Councilmember Greenlee, Councilmember Squilla, Council President Clarke, Councilmember Oh, Councilmember Domb, Councilmember Quiñones Sánchez
Attachments: 1. Signature19067600
Title
Authorizing the Committees on Environment and Legislative Oversight to hold joint hearings to assess options for the future of the refinery complex owned by Philadelphia Energy Solutions.
Body
WHEREAS, Safety, health, economic opportunity, sustainability, and quality of life are fundamental interests of City government in serving Philadelphia's citizenry; and

WHEREAS, The refinery complex owned by Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES) has deeply affected those interests throughout its history, which began in 1866 with the Atlantic Refining Company and continued under Gulf Oil, Sunoco, and PES. The 1,400-acre site, which straddles the Schuylkill River in South and Southwest Philadelphia, directly affects the everyday lives of tens of thousands of Philadelphians and indirectly affects millions of people across Greater Philadelphia; and

WHEREAS, In the 19th and early 20th centuries, gasoline was regarded as a waste product and a large amount was leaked into the soil at the refinery site. In 1962, oil saturation in the ground at the refinery caused an explosion during construction on a sewer project, killing several sewer workers. The refinery once again caught fire in 1975, spilling oil onto the ground and killing eight Philadelphia firefighters; and

WHEREAS, According to a 2017 report by the Clean Air Task Force and the NAACP, the refinery was responsible for 72 percent of the toxic air emissions in Philadelphia, including carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, benzene, and particulate matter. Those emissions have been linked to a citywide childhood asthma rate that is more than two times the national average; and

WHEREAS, In recent years, the site's owners and operators have teetered on the brink of insolvency, due to competitive disadvantages and to significant regulatory and tax liabilities, including environmental compliance and enforcement obligations associated with the site's operation as a refinery; and

WHEREAS, Those financial woes led to significant st...

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