Girl Planting seeds

What contamination lurks on and under shuttered South Philly refinery

When blasts ignited a massive fire at the Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery last June, residents feared that the spectacular blaze contaminated the air they breathe.  Now that the U.S. Bankruptcy Court has approved the sale of the refinery complex to Hilco Redevelopment Partners, which wants to replace the refinery with a mixed-use development, concerns have shifted from air quality to contamination of the ground and the water beneath the two-square-mile property. Indeed, a host of hazardous chemicals including cancer-causing benzene lurk beneath the land where crude oil was processed, stored, and shipped starting 150 years ago, according to government and corporate documents reviewed by The Inquirer.  Read more....



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