In June 2019, the Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES) Refinery in South Philadelphia, the largest oil refinery on the East Coast, exploded and one month later filed for bankruptcy. The community surrounding the refinery has long been impacted by the emissions of the refinery, experiencing disproportionately high rates of asthma, cancer, and other chronic health issues. The explosion and subsequent bankruptcy and closure of the refinery has allowed for a unique opportunity to clean up and redevelop this 1,400 acre site.
The Clean Air Council in partnership with Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation at Drexel University have developed a report entitled "Visioning the Reuse of the Philadelphia Energy Solutions Refinery Complex" to begin to reimagine the future of the refinery site. Philly Thrive, a grassroots organization made up of residents near the refinery, have been active voices in centering the community's demands in the redevelopment of the site and advocating for a just transition to a fossil-fuel free future.
Speakers include Matt Walker, Advocacy Director of Clean Air Council; Harris Steinberg, Executive Director of the Lindy Institute at Drexel University; and representatives from Philly Thrive.