Environment

Several scientists, EPA representatives, and scuba divers worked to pull up mussels that had been in the bottom of the Lauritzen Channel for a month. The mussels measure the level of pollutants in the water. (2012)

Environmental group, Richmond storage company reach agreement to prevent toxins from entering bay

San Francisco Bay Keeper, an environmental group, reached an agreement on Friday with a storage company it sued two years ago for allegedly polluting San Francisco Bay, violating the Clean Water Act, and endangering the...
Chevron opened its doors for more than 400 people on its annual Community Tour Day. (Photo by Bonnie Chan)

A community tour of Chevron’s Richmond refinery full of eye-popping sights

Chevron's Community Tour Day last Saturday showed Richmond residents the inside of the 2,900 acre refinery and the progress of the refinery modernization project.
Richmond's Chevron Refinery is one of the five refineries in the Bay Area affected by bill SB1300. Photo by: Phil James/Richmond Confidential

State refinery safety bill hailed by legislators draws concern from a free speech group

A new bill aimed at increasing transparency in California oil refineries has an unexpected opponent –a free speech rights group. The First Amendment Coalition raised concerns over SB 1300, a bill they claim will actually...
Students with the Fossil Free UC campaign hold up signs urging the UC Board of Regents to divest from the fossil fuel industry at the UC Regents' meeting on Wednesday, September 17, 2014. The Regents manage a $91 billion investment portfolio, about $10 billion of which is invested in fossil fuel companies. San Francisco, Calif. (Photo by Bonnie Chan)

UC Regents vote in favor of sustainable investment over divestment

The University of California Board of Regents voted Wednesday to add several environmental responsibility initiatives into its investment portfolio, but declined to act on student fossil-free coalitions' demands that it divest from fossil fuel companies.
Participants in an environmental protest in Richmond, CA with "bomb train" sign.

Lawsuit seeking to stop rail shipments of Bakken crude oil dismissed

A San Francisco Superior Court judge on Friday dismissed a lawsuit brought by environmental groups that sought to halt rail shipments of volatile Bakken crude oil into Richmond. Judge Peter J. Busch ruled that the...
California is in a drought. Water districts around the state are faced with difficult choices. (Flickr photo by: Angelo Gonzalez)

What the drought means for the East Bay

California is in a drought. Though the Bay Area experienced a few showers this week, far more rain is needed to make a dent in the state’s water shortage. Last year was the driest on...
U.S. Chemical Safety Board Chairman Rafael Moure-Eraso speaks during a news conference at the Emeryville Hilton Garden Inn Monday about the board's second of three reports on the August 2012 Chevron Richmond refinery fire, which endangered 19 workers and sent 15,000 people to area hospitals. Aerial photos of the fire's smoke plume sit nearby. (Photo by: Kevin N. Hume)

Chemical Safety Board recommends industry-wide changes in Chevron fire report

U.S. Chemical Safety Board representatives and investigators on Monday recommended sweeping changes to the California petroleum industry following the August 2012 fire at the Chevron refinery in Richmond.
Many Bay Area refineries, including Chevron, are in the midst of major upgrades. Click on the cities to hear different perspectives on the various oil projects happening in the Bay Area. (Map and videos by Sally Schilling)

Refinery towns draw lessons from Chevron project

Richmond isn't the only town in the Bay Area that's in the midst of approving a major oil project. Other nearby refineries are also upgrading. And surrounding communities are looking to Richmond for lessons on...