Company Town

Chevron must replace pipes at Richmond refinery, purchase supplies for Richmond Fire Department: EPA settlement

As Wanda Cooper biked home through the thick haze of smoke rising from a fire at the Chevron oil refinery, her eyes began to burn and her throat to close up. “I couldn’t hardly breathe,” she says. Six years after a pipeline fire at Chevron U.S.A. Inc.’s oil refinery in Richmond sent Cooper and thousands more to the emergency room, the company agreed last month to spend more than $160 million to make major safety improvements at all of its…

Community-oriented process to monitor air quality kicks off tomorrow

Richmond is about to begin a unique process to identify a group of community leaders to work with the state and local air resources boards to determine key drivers of the city’s pollution and put together a plan to reduce it. This Wednesday, Nov. 7, leaders of community environmental organizations and other members of the public are invited by County Supervisor John Gioia to attend a meeting on the new plan at the Richmond City Recreation Complex on MacDonald Avenue….

Proposed housing developments promise to transform downtown Richmond

A series of recently proposed housing developments along Macdonald Avenue in downtown Richmond could spur a business renaissance in the struggling district if city and local business leaders’ predictions ring true. In a city desperate for affordable housing, the developments reserve only about one quarter of the total number of units for residents making below the median income. The rest of the apartments would be rented at market rates. Still, Richmond leaders are supporting the proposals on land that has…

Meet Richmond’s fishermen (and one woman)

Despite some concerns about water pollution from the city’s industries, people fish in many different spots across Richmond’s extensive shoreline: in parks, off piers, and even under bridges and highways. They do so for relaxation, to enjoy the outdoors, and to feed their families. Meet some of them here.

MAP: An overview of every toxic, contaminated site in Richmond

Over the decades, a sprawling network of shuttered chemical plants and oil refineries has left harmful pollutants in Richmond’s air, water, and soil. According to data collected by the California Department of Toxic Substance Control, the city is home to more than a hundred hazardous waste sites, including two highly contaminated, federally designated Superfund locations. Richmond Confidential’s “Toxics Map,” updated in the fall of 2017, details where the state is cleaning up and evaluating hazardous-waste sites, where cleanup is voluntary,…

2016 election could bring RPA biggest win yet

Back in 2004, Richmond voters saw local election posters encouraging them to “Reach for a better Richmond” and promising them “New Leadership, New Ideas, New Ethics.” Now, six elections later, the up-and-coming political faction behind those fliers, the Richmond Progressive Alliance (RPA), could wield more influence over City Hall than ever before.

PG&E to incorporate safety initiatives, remove obstructing trees

After the deadly San Bruno pipeline explosion five years ago, Pacific Gas & Electric Co. launched a statewide upgrade to its gas safety program. Richmond will receive its PG&E pipeline safety makeover in the upcoming weeks. PG&E said it was introducing its Community Pipeline Safety Initiative to improve access to transmission lines for first responders in the event of an emergency, partly by removing or replacing trees. The utility said Richmond has 43 trees on public property needing replacement, while…

Independence of independent expenditure groups called into question

Richmond’s 2014 election was defined by Chevron Corp.’s failed effort to get their favored candidates elected despite spending more than $3 million through an array of independent expenditure committees. Some have raised concerns about coordination between political candidates and these committees.