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Protest Held In South Philly Against Proposed Oil Refinery Expansion

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The Port Authority is considering six different plans for developing a piece of land near the Navy Yard, called Southport. It's a hot-button issue for residents, because one proposals involves the expansion of an oil refinery, and Saturday, they staged a protest.

Photo Credit: KYW's Kristen Johanson)

Long-time Kingsessing resident Doreen says she is standing with activists and leaders to oppose the refinery expansion.

"I've been having respiratory problems for a few years now, and I know this is a part of it," Doreen said.

She is one of hundreds who came out to 28th Street and Passyunk Ave, to march with signs and sunflower cutouts.

"We do not need anymore pollutants in this city," she said.

Maxine has lived in the neighborhood for nearly 50 years, and says her family has suffered breathing problems from the already standing fossil fuels companies, burning near her home.

"Everybody in my house has asthma, and I got 1-2-3 kids that got asthma," she said.

A fossil fuel company called Philadelphia Regional Energy Solutions is one of six possible plans that could take up Southport, which doesn't sit well with South Philly resident Rich.

"I think Philadelphia can go in a different direction, I think we can develop an economy moving in a green direction, instead of sticking with this fossil fuel dinosaur economy that locks up into fracking, locks us into pollution," Rich said. "I am concerned about the fact that Philadelphia Energy Solutions wants to expand a refinery that has been poisoning the air in our neighborhoods for decades."

clean air and energy
Photo Credit: KYW's Kristen Johanson)

The Philadelphia Port Authority will make a decision on which company will take up Southport, by the end of the year.

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