On July 31, the City of Philadelphia announced the Refinery Advisory Group to inform decisions facing the city in the aftermath of thePhiladelphia Energy Solutions’ explosion and fire. As the chair of the committee focused on environmental issues, I want to provide an update on our work to date.
The Environment Committee public meeting on Aug. 28 had 28 preregistered speakers and 10 speakers who signed up at the door. We had already extended our scheduled meeting time to 3 and a half hours and still we could not accommodate all the speakers. (Those speakers were invited, as is anyone else, to submit written comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Attending city leaders heard a valuable mix of concerns and ideas from neighbors, workers, advocates, and analysts. Their spoken and written testimonies provide a wealth of information, which the committee is now reviewing and compiling for the city. (The city is making available the video recording of the public meetings and submitted testimony at www.phila.gov/refinery.)
We want to continue this transparent and productive engagement with the wider public about environmental concerns and ideas related to the PES refinery and the site it occupies. We are taking a deeper dive into the following series of questions and intend to build a framework for evaluating important aspects of any proposal being suggested in general terms or formally submitted for consideration in bankruptcy or other proceedings related to PES and its potential successors.
We invite comment on these questions. This list does not exhaust all the questions we are asking, but they represent some of the more important numbers that we plan to give the city.
We also know that there is much expertise on these topics in this region. We see real value in crowdsourcing data and findings on these questions. Please submit your comments to email@example.com and use the subject line “PES research questions.”