Thiel notes progress, but refinery cleanup is not yet under control

Pat Loeb
August 16, 2019 - 7:53 pm
Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel in South Philadelphia

Pat Loeb/KYW Newsradio


PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Fire officials say they've disposed of about 50% of a dangerous chemical at Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery, which was shut down by an explosive fire in June. However, they're still not declaring the scene under control.

“I'm pleased to say that we've had a very good week,” said Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel.

He says the job of neutralizing Hydroflouric Acid at the site, by adding a base to it, is nearly halfway done.

Thiel declined to predict how much longer it would take to complete the job.

“We don't know,” he said. “Every day we're emphasizing safety versus speed.”

READ: Workers begin disposing dangerous chemical at shutdown refinery 

As the work continues, he says, the fire department and its state and federal partners in the cleanup will be at the site round the clock, seven days a week.

We are staying every vigilant and standing quite literally between the hazard and our neighbors.