Chevron reports cause of August 6 refinery fire

Chemicals lingered in the air above Richmond after the Chevron refinery fire. (Photo by: Tawanda Kanhema)

Chevron failed to properly document a thinning pipe in the Richmond refinery’s crude unit back in 2002, the company admitted Friday, when the oil giant released its findings from its own investigation into the cause of last August’s refinery fire. The company concluded sulfur corrosion, accelerated by low silicon content, caused the five-foot carbon steel pipe to…

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Chevron fire investigators: Overhaul needed to prevent future incidents

Despite all the eyes on the Richmond Chevron refinery before last August’s fire, the plant’s corroded crude pipe still went unnoticed, federal and state officials said Friday. Federal and state investigators have determined Chevron disregarded its own safety policies and knowingly failed to replace the corroded pipe that ultimately burst, leading to the leaking gas…

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Refinery safety collaborative holds first Richmond forum

Ron Espinoza speaks to crowd at Chevron community meeting

The microphone sputtered in and out as community members lined up for a turn to speak at the new Collaborative on Refinery Safety and Community Health’s public forum Wednesday evening. The meeting at St. Mark’s Catholic Church gym was the first of many conversations the group plans to have in Richmond and across the state.…

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New bills take aim at Chevron

Two bills introduced in the State Legislature Friday take aim at Chevron in direct response to the August refinery fire. Berkeley Democrats State Senator Loni Hancock and Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner co-announced legislation Monday that would impose higher fines against air quality polluters and ensure more timely corrections to unsafe workplace conditions. Hancock authored a bill…

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Labor and environmental groups join forces on refinery issues

view of Chevron refinery in Richmond

The fire at Richmond’s Chevron oil refinery on August 6, 2012 wasn’t the only reason the United Steelworkers union and several environmental organizations—disparate groups that rarely work in tandem—decided to join forces in an industry-wide conversation about health and safety, but it was certainly an accelerating factor. “Absolutely, that spurred us,” said Charlotte Brody, national…

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Officials: Chevron failed to replace corroded pipe that caused Aug. fire

Federal investigators have concluded an aged and severely corroded pipe caused the Aug. 6 Chevron Refinery fire. Investigators and elected officials were quick to blame the oil giant for the explosion, arguing the corporation knew the pipe should have been replaced years ago. The findings, released by the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board…

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