EPA tells everyone what kind of factory fumes they’re breathing in South Philly

The Environmental Protection Agency has launched a pilot program in South Philly that helps residents find out toxic chemicals are being released into the air by refineries, says Newsworks.

Turns out that the nose knows: the worst offender in 2012 was the stinky Philadelphia Energy Systems refinery at 32nd Street and Passyunk Avenue, which spewed 762,390 pounds of chemicals, according to a fact sheet prepared by the agency. For comparison, the often-suspected Sunoco refinery spouted only 28 pounds.

From the fact sheet.
From the fact sheet.

Hmm, seems a bit alarming, right? The Newsworks story didn’t address whether this was supposed to be concerning.

So, EPA, you’ve reached out, but what are we supposed to do with this information?

Find the full fact sheet here, and a map of corresponding industrial properties here.

And no, the report only goes up to 2012, so the definitive source of that sporadic cat urine smell, which the city blamed on New Jersey, still hasn’t been confirmed.

3 thoughts on “EPA tells everyone what kind of factory fumes they’re breathing in South Philly

  • September 4, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    Note the Sunoco facility listed is a terminal (storage facility), not a refinery.

    • September 4, 2014 at 2:44 pm

      Also note:

      * Philadelphia Energy Systems (PES)’ address is at 3144 W Passyunk, which is not “32nd and Passyunk” streets.

      * 3144 W Passyunk is not where the refineries are actually located; there are two, one at Girard Point, where 95 crosses the Schyulkill, and one at Point Breeze, where Passyunk Ave crosses the schulykill. Both pieces of land are in the middle of the Sunoco complex.

      * Finally, per http://pes-companies.com/refining-complex/history/, PES is a recently formed partnership between Sunoco and The Carlyle Group, an asset management firm.

      Effectively, PES is Sunoco.

      • September 4, 2014 at 2:47 pm

        It also says so right in the fact sheet you linked:

        The increase depicted in the trends chart for 2006–2011 (years shown in bold above) is due to increased testing and emissions estimation calculations by Philadelphia Energy Solutions Refinery (previously Sunoco Inc. R&M Philadelphia Refinery)

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