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Street Level: Living with a refinery in South Philly

RCO: West Passyunk Neighbors Association, which covers 18th to 25th and Mifflin to Passyunk. A neighbored by one of the most infamous physical landmarks in the city.

About the RCO Project:

We all love living in Philadelphia. However, there are so many little, absurd things – crosswalks blocked by cars, garbage that doesn't get picked up on scheduled dates, parks that resemble Amazonian jungles – that add up and grind us residents to the ground. It's great the mayoral candidates are talking about big issues like crime and poverty and public schools. But realistically, shouldn't we expect the mayor to tackle the little problems too, if not moreso?

So, we've reached out to civic associations (known as RCOs, or registered community organizations, in city government-ese) to find out about the little things that seemingly never get solved, and we'll be talking to RCO leaders once or twice a week while voters wrestle with who ultimately should be elected the next mayor in November. If your RCO would like to participate in the project, email gregg_gethard@yahoo.com or call (215)854-2267. Below is the first in our series:

RCO: West Passyunk Neighbors Association, which covers 18th to 25th and Mifflin to Passyunk. It's a neighborhood of tidy row homes and small patches of green space. It's also neighbored by one of the most infamous physical landmarks in the city, Philadelphia Energy Solution's oil refinery.

RCO member: Jennifer Harrison

At issue: One of the hot-button topics of the current election cycle is Philadelphia's potential as an "energy hub." Yet one of the nation's biggest and most important refineries has been smack dab in the middle of South Philadelphia for 150 years, which one might suggest should already give the city the "energy hub" title. In the video above, Harrison lays out some absurdities of living in the shadow of an oil refinery, which comes with considerable health risk, and asks a vital question of the mayoral candidates.

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