FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(PHILADELPHIA, PA) June 19, 2014 –City Council passed a bill introduced by Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown, Chair of the City Council Committee on the Environment, to update commercial fuel oil and emission standards in the City of Philadelphia.
Section 3-207 of the Philadelphia Code, titled “Sale of Fuel Oil” has not been amended since April 1, 1978. The legislation sets the following new limits on the percent of sulfur by weight that can be sold, and the permissible emissions of Sulfur Dioxide (SO2).
New rates would be set as follows: (Click to enlarge)
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), SO2 emissions are linked to major health concerns including effects on breathing, respiratory illness, alteration in pulmonary defenses, aggravation of existing cardiovascular disease and chronic lung disease like bronchitis or emphysema. Furthermore, SO2 is harmful to the environment, linked to acid rain, pollution of lakes and streams, accelerated corrosion of monuments and buildings and reduced visibility.
“The passage of this bill signals Philadelphia’s continued role as a leader among cities in the area of the environment and sustainability,” said Councilwoman Reynolds Brown. “We have reached a tipping point in our culture where citizens, especially young people, are demanding action on a host of issues like clean air, clean water, recycling and the reduction of our carbon footprint. I am very proud to be a part of this critically important movement.”
She further noted, “The Obama Administration’s recently released National Climate Assessment spells out the facts: air pollution is directly contributing to climate change and a host of alarming health issues affecting our most vulnerable citizens. Asthma is on the rise among young people, while senior citizens are experiencing a host of health issues directly related to air pollution. This bill offers us an opportunity to make a tangible difference in the health of our citizens, our city and our planet.”
In his May 31, 2014 weekly address, President Obama urged action on air pollution and climate change, stating the following: “Earlier this month hundreds of scientists declared that climate change is no longer a distant threat. It has moved firmly into the present. Its cost can be measured in lost lives and livelihoods, lost homes and businesses, and higher prices for food, insurance and rebuilding.”
For additional information, quotes or to request an interview with the Councilwoman, please contact Communications Manager Jason Lewis at 215-686-3438 or 267-250-2925.
Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown has passed meaningful legislation and supported valuable community programming that positively impacts her core issues: children and youth, women, education, small business development, arts and culture and the environment and sustainability. Councilwoman Reynolds Brown is the only woman to win an At-Large Council seat since 1999.