We pledge to resist any polluting industry that tries to re-open at the PES refinery site because our lives are on the line. Sustainable land use determined by residents is possible & necessary.
Over 5,000 pounds of Hydrofluoric Acid released capable of melting human tissue & bone. Nineteen tons of shrapnel- the equivalent to a truck- flying over 2,000 feet. A faulty pipe measuring only 7% of required thickness: the difference between a quiet morning and a Chernobyl crisis in Philadelphia.
These were among the findings announced by the U.S. Chemical Safety Board nearly four months after the PES refinery's explosions that shook the region on June 21st, 2019.
The information confirms our civic duty to do everything in our power to keep the refinery shut down and prevent any polluting industry from re-opening at the site. It is our responsibility as residents because our government has not and cannot protect our health & safety as long as the fossil fuel industry is allowed to operate in our neighborhoods- or anywhere.
The June 21st explosion was only the most recent example of the City of Philadelphia promising safe air quality, while South Philadelphians rushed to the hospital for eye irritation & breathing problems. Residents have been raising our voices for years about PES's repeated safety violations, burying family members with cancer and heart disease, with little-to-no response from the City to strengthen enforcement action. Workers were our only protection that day, and they were promptly laid off by PES without severance as executives were paid out $450 million bonuses.
We will use this moment to call on government officials to finally represent the public interest by intervening into the refinery's bankruptcy proceedings, getting to work on tightening air regulations & banning Hydrofluoric Acid, and holding Sunoco responsible for involving residents in developing clean up plans for the refinery land.
But never again will we wait for anyone's leadership but our own. The only acceptable solution is an immediate, full-scale transition to a renewable energy system and we will prepare to put our bodies on the line as we have in the past. Sign the pledge to join in the message we're sending to polluting companies eyeing the refinery for purchase that Philadelphia is no longer a home for fossil fuel processing. By signing the pledge, you will receive updates and information about upcoming training & action opportunities.
As Philly Thrive member Shawmar Pitts says, "It is a known fact that we have to change the ways we get and use our energy. There has to be a new industrial revolution. Our situation in South Philly with the closing of the PES refinery is our opportunity to be trailblazers for saving the planet one community at a time." People across the country are uniting for a Green New Deal to create millions of green jobs and young people throughout the world are calling on us to go on strike for the climate. Arm-in-arm we will rebuild our societies until everyone has a #RightToBreathe.