Public Engagement Timeline
After submittal of the Notice of Intent to Remediate in 2006, the City of Philadelphia requested that Sunoco develop a Public Involvement Plan (PIP), as required by Act 2.
The PIP included holding a public information session to give an overview of the regulatory framework for the project and ongoing corrective action processes. The presentation from the meeting, which took place on September 19, 2007, is found here: Presentation.
Evergreen has prepared a new draft Public Involvement Plan (06-19-2019), which includes public information sessions.
Evergreen also prepared a Community Outreach Plan to document some of the proposed methods for outreach and communication. As part of the Public Involvement Plan and additional Community Outreach efforts, Evergreen sent a Postcard (Spanish | Chinese | Vietnamese ) to residences and business near the facility to notify of Evergreen’s Investigation and Remediation activities. As part of the Public Involvement Plan and Community Outreach Plan, Evergreen has held and will continue to hold public meetings to provide updates on Evergreen’s site remediation program and provide two-way communication opportunities for the public.
Evergreen hired Hummingbird to support community engagement. Upon starting, members of the Hummingbird team met with members of the community to get a better understanding of their needs and concerns regarding the legacy remediation.
Evergreen shares a Situational Analysis and a newly created Public Engagement Plan that builds on Evergreen’s past engagement efforts. The plan was created by Hummingbird Firm, with Evergreen, and informed by Hummingbird Firm’s interviews with community members and
stakeholders between July 2021 and September 2021.
Small Group Chats
- Understanding of Evergreen’s Environmental Program
- Concerns about Evergreen’s Remediation/cleanup of the Former Philadelphia Refinery site
- Communication Needs and Preferences
Evergreen and Hummingbird met with the United South/Southwest (S/SW) Coalition for Healthy Communities to better understand the needs of the surrounding community residents and stakeholders regarding the cleanup of the former Philadelphia Refinery. The meeting began with members from the Coalition, Evergreen, and Hummingbird sharing their backgrounds and relation to the site and then moved into the discussion on communication. Members of the Coalition mentioned not being aware of meetings and having trouble getting the meeting invitations. Despite Evergreen and Hummingbird’s various outreach efforts, which are not limited to sending emails and mailing flyers to residential homes within a one-mile radius, there has still been an issue with communication with the Coalition. Hummingbird confirmed the Coalition’s direct email address and agreed to use that going forward to share updates, and meeting notices/reminders, which the Coalition can then share with its members.
Next, the Coalition provided feedback on Evergreen’s current website, which included: having trouble navigating the Q&A page, making the contact us page more visible, and clarifying who Evergreen and Hummingbird are. Hummingbird and Evergreen will take these comments into consideration, along with other feedback, to address these issues to create a more seamless experience for residents and stakeholders who are viewing the website.
The meeting continued with a discussion on Evergreen’s upcoming public meeting on fate and transport. The Coalition also suggested that Evergreen and Hilco have a joint meeting to give the public more clarity on roles and how each part will ultimately benefit community health and the environment. As the small group chat came to a close, Evergreen agreed to create standing meetings with the Coalition and mentioned that they would revisit the idea of a community advisory group (CAG) in the future. Hummingbird also committed to sending follow-up emails to residents and stakeholders as reminders of upcoming events hosted by Evergreen.
On April 28th, Tiffani Doerr of Evergreen and Denise Smith of Hummingbird Firm met virtually with James Mullison and Carol Foy, two residents who are also members of Philly Thrive. Given their ongoing engagement with Evergreen’s environmental program, the conversation started off by going straight into feedback on existing communication materials. James and Carol said that they liked the explainer video, as it provides a timeline and overview of the project. James referred to it as a 30,000 ft level overview and expressed interest in seeing a 10,000 ft level overview video that discusses the investigations that have been completed and why. From there, the conversation went more into questions and concerns, including: how the public will be kept informed and what communication mechanisms would be used (there was a strong interest in receiving another mailer); access to technology; whether all areas of interest (AOIs) would be tested; and how the contaminants were identified. There was a more detailed discussion on this last point. Tiffani discussed DEP’s expectation to look at every place that there was a documented or suspected release and also referenced various documents, including the Current Conditions Report. As an extension of that conversation, Carol asked about the timeline for cleaning up the refinery, which in turn led to conversations about sampling and how the soil would be disposed of. As a part of Tiffani’s response, she explained that the disposal facility depends on what is in the soil, though most of the soil should be able to be moved around the site (as opposed to removing it from the facility). Tiffani also referenced Hilco’s Soil Management Plan and the roles and responsibilities for any additional sampling. The conversation closed out with feedback on the fact sheets (i.e., the fact sheets are helpful to some people; risk is a weird topic), the website, and an interactive map, which Philly Thrive had previously provided feedback on. Overall, the conversation was productive and provided some direction in terms of potential materials including another video, refined questions and answers, and an interactive map.
- As part of the 2007 and 2019 Public Involvement Plans, as well as the 2020 Community Outreach Plan amendment and 2021 Public Engagement Plan amendment, Evergreen has held and will continue to hold public meetings to provide updates on Evergreen’s site remediation program and provide two-way communication opportunities for the public. Click the button below for more details on past meetings.
Upcoming 2023 Planned Meeting Dates:
- Q4 2023 – December 4 (time/location TBD)