PennEnvironment Response to Today’s South Philly Refinery Fire

Media Contacts


At approximately 3:15 am this morning, a 3-alarm explosion at the Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES) refinery in South Philly rocked local neighborhoods.

PennEnvironment Executive Director David Masur released the following statement in response:

“Like many residents throughout South Philly, I was woken up in the middle of the night to the sound of a massive explosion at the S. Philly refinery not far from my home.

This explosion and ensuing fire was a stark reminder of what local residents, environmental groups like PennEnvironment, and health professionals have been saying for a long time: dangerous fossil fuels, and the refineries that house them, put our health, environment, and communities at risk.

This explosion embodied what we all know: fossil fuels as a source of energy are dirty and dangerous, and don’t deliver for our communities.

It’s also incredibly ironic that after months of debate about expanding the City’s fossil fuel production for generations to come, that thirteen members of City Council voted last week to continue our reliance–and risk–on dangerous fossil fuels at the PGW South Philly refinery.

Today’s fire was a prophetic reminder of the risks that these facilities pose to our local communities. Hopefully it will serve as a stark reminder for the city council members who voted for the LNG expansion at this facility, and will convince Mayor Kenney to veto this short-sighted and dangerous proposal.”


PennEnvironment is a statewide, environmental advocacy organization with 140,000 supporters advocating for clean air, clean water and open spaces. For more information, visit