Sunoco, SE Pa. officials huddle on refinery use

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The head of Sunoco has met with officials in suburban Philadelphia to object to a proposed zoning change that could limit the company's plans for its soon-to-be-closed refinery.

The Delaware County Daily Times says incoming Sunoco Inc. CEO Brian MacDonald met with local officials Wednesday on the proposal that would only allow petroleum products manufactured at the Marcus Hook site to be stored there.

Later that night, the board voted in favor of an amendment that would restrict the storage of petroleum products at the Marcus Hook site to only those manufactured there, which would severely limit the potential for imported refined products to be brought there. The borough council is to vote on the matter next month.

"This zoning (decision) would completely shut down their terminal option and they were concerned about that," Mayor James Schiliro said. "They wanted to see what we would do to change our minds about it."

The mayor said he shares the concerns of many residents about the property being used as a terminal for Marcellus Shale extractions because of safety concerns.

Sunoco spokesman Thomas Golembeski said the meeting was intended to update officials on potential alternative uses for the site.

"We also told the mayor that we view the proposed ordinance as counterproductive to finding alternative uses for the site that will generate new jobs, provide tax revenues and promote economic growth in southeastern Pennsylvania," he said in a statement.

The company earlier announced plans to close the Marcus Hook refinery, laying off about 490 employees, due to deteriorating market conditions, and says it will close another refinery in Philadelphia by July if a buyer cannot be found.

The mayor said the company may help bridge the $800,000 gap from lost earned income tax revenues if the refinery closes, but he said that subject was unrelated to discussion about the proposed ordinance.


Information from: Delaware County Daily Times, http://www.delcotimes.com

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