Group will host community meetings throughout the summer

PHILADELPHIA — Today, the City of Philadelphia announced that the newly formed PES Refinery Advisory Group will hold its first three public meetings, as well as additional meetings throughout the summer.

After a fire at the Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES) refinery on June 21, Mayor Kenney called for Managing Director Brian Abernathy and Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel to convene an advisory group of stakeholders with diverse experience, knowledge, and perspectives on the PES refinery site and operations to better inform how the City approaches the future use of the site. This group will advise City leaders on how the closure of the PES facility will impact Philadelphia with respect to the economy, environment, public health, and safety.

The Refinery Advisory Group will organize a series of focused public meetings aimed at gathering testimony and information from experts and stakeholders who represent a wide array of constituencies: the community, academic and environmental experts, business leaders, and organized labor. Each of these committees will be hosting public meetings in the weeks ahead. Members of the public who are interested in presenting at one of these meetings are encouraged to register by emailing

The first public meeting of the full Refinery Advisory Group will be held on Tuesday, August 6 at 5:30 p.m. at Preparatory Charter School (1928 Point Breeze Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19145). At this meeting, City staff will provide an introductory overview of the Refinery Advisory Group, give a brief presentation about the refinery site, and discuss the structure of future Advisory Group meetings. Public comments that are limited to these topics will be welcomed at the end of the meeting.

The next two public meetings will be hosted by committees of the Refinery Advisory Group and held at the following dates and times:

  • Community Committee – Tuesday, August 20, 5:30 p.m.
  • Environmental and Academic Committee – Tuesday, August 27, 5:30 p.m.
Both committee meetings will be held at Preparatory Charter School (1928 Point Breeze Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19145) and are open to the public. Testimony and comments from relevant stakeholders will be welcomed at these respective committee meetings.

Through the committee meetings, members of the Advisory Group hope to gather information from a wide array of stakeholders and subject matter experts to share with City officials. People who are interested in presenting at any of these meetings are strongly encouraged to register in advance by emailing

Additional meetings will be scheduled and announced in the weeks ahead. Future meeting dates and locations, as well as informational updates about the work of the Refinery Advisory Group, will be made available at

“The fire at PES last month and the company’s decision to shut down the South Philadelphia refinery will have a profound impact on Philadelphia for years to come,” said Managing Director Brian Abernathy. “The City is taking the necessary steps to ensure the operations wind down safely and that we have a robust public conversation about what the future of the site could look like. I am grateful for the Advisory Group members for lending their time and expertise to this important endeavor. I encourage the community to get involved by attending these public meetings so their voice can be a part of the process.”

The Advisory Group members include: 

Brian Abernathy, Managing Director, City of Philadelphia
Adam Thiel, Fire Commissioner and Director of Emergency Management, City of Philadelphia

Government Members
Harold Epps, Director of Commerce, City of Philadelphia
Anne Fadullon, Director of Planning and Development, City of Philadelphia
Tom Farley, Commissioner of Public Health, City of Philadelphia
Christine Knapp, Director of Sustainability, City of Philadelphia
Rich Lazer, Deputy Mayor for Labor, City of Philadelphia
Patrick Patterson, SE Regional Director, PA Department of Environmental Protection

Business Members
Anne Bovaird Nevins, Chief Strategy and Communications Officer, PIDC
Matt Cabrey, Executive Director, Select Greater Philadelphia
Edward Hazzouri, Chairman, Hazzouri and Associates, LLC
Denis O’Brien, Senior Executive Vice President, Exelon Utilities
Anna Shipp, Executive Director, Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia
Jerry Sweeney, Chairman, Philadelphia Regional Port Authority
Craig White, President & CEO, Philadelphia Gas Works

Environmental/Academic Members
Peter DeCarlo, Associate Professor, Drexel University
Mark Alan Hughes, Founding Faculty Director, Kleinman Center for Energy Policy, University of Pennsylvania
Christina Simeone, PhD Student, Colorado School of Mines/National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Community Members
Jody Della Barba, President, Girard Estates Area Residents
Otis Bullock, Jr., Executive Director, Diversified Community Services
Shawn Jalosinski, Executive Director, Sports Complex Special Services District
Irene Russell, President, Friends of Stinger Square and Member of Philly Thrive

Labor and Employment Members
Mark Lynch, Safety Coordinator, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
Ryan O’Callaghan, Business Manager, United Steelworkers Local 10-1
Jim Snell, Business Manager, Steamfitters Local 420
Tony Wigglesworth, Philadelphia Area Labor Management Committee

Advisory Group Staff
Javon Davis, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Philadelphia Fire Department
Patrick O’Neill, Divisional Deputy City Solicitor, City of Philadelphia
Chris Rupe, Chief of Staff, Managing Director’s Office, City of Philadelphia

Registration is not required, but community members who plan to attend are encouraged to RSVP by emailing More information about the Advisory Group and updates on its work will be available at