Committee Hearing Explores Remediation of Philadelphia Oil Refinery

PHILADELPHIA – The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee hosted a hearing Wednesday to discuss the ongoing remediation of the former Philadelphia Energy Solutions oil refinery.

Committee Chairman Sen. Gene Yaw (R-23) said it’s the second hearing of its kind since an early morning blast shuttered the 1,300-acre crude oil facility in June 2019. The new owners of the property, Hilco Redevelopment Partners, plan to overhaul the complex into a commercial site that will bring 10,000 permanent jobs to South Philadelphia.

The Department of Environmental Protection, however, told the committee clean up and rehabilitation of the complex will continue through 2030 as it assists Evergreen Resources Management Operations in addressing soil and groundwater contamination. Though much work remains, DEP Deputy Secretary for Field Operations Joseph Adams told the committee he’s proud of how far the remediation effort has come over the last two years.

Other testifiers, including environmental groups, community activists and medical experts, said public participation in the remediation process required under DEP’s Land Recycling Program has been lacking. They urged the committee to consider updates to the program to better facilitate community input and to likewise recognize the negative health impacts the former refinery had on the surrounding neighborhoods for more than 100 years.

“I thank all of the participants for their valuable testimony on the enormous challenge the remediation of this site poses,” Sen. Yaw said. “As chairman, it’s important to me that we remain committed to ensuring the safe and efficient clean up of this site in a manner that respects and enhances the quality of life for the surrounding community.”

 

CONTACT: Nick Troutman, Chief of Staff 717-787-3280