Marcus Hook mulling zoning changes for idled Sunoco plant

The town of Marcus Hook is looking for leverage.

As Sunoco and others look to find a new use for the company’s idled refinery in Marcus Hook, the town is considering an ordinance that would ban any fuel from the site that wasn’t refined on the premises.


The mayor of Marcus Hook, James Schiliro, says he’s more concerned about safety than in dictating the new use for the facility.

“We’ve lived with this for 109 years and we’re a refinery community. And we all are used to the problems that the refinery has presented in the past because Sunoco has always had a fleet of firemen along with the volunteers to protect our residents from the current chemicals that were stored there,” said Schiliro.Schiliro, a volunteer firemen for 13 years who has fought blazes inside the Sunoco plant, says he worries about the arrival of much more volatile substances, such as ethane.He says the town is responding in part to rumors that the Sunoco oil refinery, which is up for sale, could be repurposed as a transportation terminal for natural gas from the Marcellus Shale.

Schiliro says if the right proposal comes along, the ordinance could be changed again. He says the goal is to have control over what goes into town residents’ backyards.

“I live right behind the refinery. The refinery’s in my backyard. My daughter lives here. My mother lives up the street,” said Schiliro. “Do i want to put them in danger? Absolutely not.”

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