Environmental Hearing at City Hall, March 22

Philadelphia City Council is holding a public hearing on the environment on Wednesday, March 22, 2017, 3:00 pm, at City Hall Room 400.  Eastwick Friends and Neighbors Coalition (EFNC) urges all Eastwick residents and stakeholders to attend this open city meeting.

YOU make a difference in conveying to city officials that flooding, air pollution, and other environmental factors deeply impact our community. Attend to lend your voice and support!

EFNC members will testify at the hearing, highlighting these points:

  • Eastwick is an environmental justice community in SW Philadelphia. Residents endure disproportionate burdens, encompassing multiple issues dating back decades.
  • Eastwick is impacted by toxic emissions from multiple, nearby sources. Pollution comes from oil refinery, major postal distribution center, and a mega-highway running through the neighborhood.
  • The Philadelphia International Airport has a significant impact on air quality. Hundreds of aircraft daily release excess jetfuel into the atmosphere over Eastwick during landings into PHL, among the busiest airports in the world.
  • High rates of asthma and respiratory illnesses afflict Eastwick residents. Air quality studies are being developed to quantify toxins so that solutions can be explored.
  • Eastwick families have lived within sight of the Clearview landfill since the 1950’s, and children played on the dump. The Clearview and Folcroft landfills were closed in the 1970’s, and in 2001, the Lower Darby Creek Area (LDCA) was declared a national priority superfund site. The EPA initiated remediation in 2013, a lengthy process that is ongoing today.
  • Eastwick is plagued by chronic and severe flooding, resulting from the filling of Tinicum marsh, coupled with increased threat of storm surge from sea level rise and climate destablization.
  • Eastwick is situated on what the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) identifies as a 100-year floodplain. This means extreme floods have a one percent chance of occurring in any given year; Hurricanes Floyd and Irene both caused massive flooding.
  • Since much of Eastwick was built in FEMA-designated Special Flood Hazard Area, Eastwick residents need affordability options for rising flood insurance premiums that threaten homeowners in this special FEMA area. Changes to the National Flood Insurance Program are imperative.
  • Like many urban neighborhoods, asphalt is pervasive in Eastwick. Extensive impervious surfaces exacerbates flooding, with few trees or vegetation to naturally absorb stormwater.
  • Many homes in Eastwick were built on silt and dredge spoil. Mediocre construction is eroding, and foundations are cracking with the ever-present pressure of water

It’s important for Philadelphia city officials to hear our message: Eastwick’s economic and social health are intricately connected to the environment. Sustainable solutions and policies must address flooding, climate change, clean air and clean water.

The Environmental Hearing is free and open to the public. To enter City Hall, you may need photo ID to sign-in to the building. We hope to see you there!

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