Once fully restored, Petty’s Island will provide amazing opportunities to learn about its natural diversity and fascinating history. Its restoration will provide local residents with access to spectacular views of the river and the City of Philadelphia that have been off-limits to them for far too long. To facilitate future educational and public access opportunities, CITGO has committed to a $2 million stewardship fund to be used to provide, among other things, education programming and another $1 million fund to assist the Trust in establishing a cultural and education center.
Although the Trust holds a conservation easement for the entire island, it assumes no liability for cleanup of past pollution on the island. CITGO is fully responsible for removing all structures associated with former petroleum operations and completely clean up any contamination. Before CITGO can turn actual title to the island over to the Trust, the DEP must certify that contamination has been addressed according to state standards. The cleanup terms are covered under a separate agreement with the DEP known as an administrative consent order. Some industrial operations will continue on the island until the end of 2017 when a lease that CITGO has with a shipping terminal will finally expire and CITGO can complete its restoration of the island and transfer its ownership to the Trust.
The conservation easement rules out most active recreational activities on the island by prohibiting development such as marinas, golf courses, restaurants and ball fields. But there are still many passive recreational options left to consider, including the cultural and education center and hiking trails in addition to educational programming. The Trust is currently working with area stakeholders to develop a long-term vision for restoration and public access at the island.