Agency: Chevron to Pay more than $20M to Settle Violations
OAKHURST, N.J. (DTN) --- California's Division of Occupational Safety and
Health today announced it has reached a settlement agreement with Chevron for a
comprehensive plan that will improve safety at the Chevron Richmond refinery
and surrounding communities for violations issued following the August 2012
Richmond refinery fire.
Cal/OSHA said the agreement meets and exceeds California's landmark
regulation to reduce risk at refineries, which was approved by the Occupational
Safety and Health Standards Board in May, and is currently pending approval by
the Office of Administrative Law.
The agreement resolves Chevron's appeal of citations issued by Cal/OSHA on
Jan. 13, 2013, following an investigation into a fire that occurred at the
Richmond refinery on Aug. 6, 2012. Cal/OSHA cited Chevron for 17 workplace
safety and health violations, including six serious and nine willful in nature.
During the settlement negotiations, Cal/OSHA received input from the United
Steelworkers and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The negotiated settlement requires Chevron to institute the following
extraordinary measures to ensure process safety at the Richmond refinery:
replace all carbon steel piping that transports corrosive liquids with
chrome-alloy piping, which has better corrosion resistance, at an estimated
cost of $15 million; develop and implement criteria and procedures, at an
estimated cost of $5 million, to monitor equipment to alert operators, when
equipment should be replaced. This is a new and innovative practice recently
developed by refinery engineering experts.
In addition, Chevron agrees to: provide specialized, hands-on training on
incident command situational awareness and hazard recognition for all Chevron
Fire Department personnel at the Richmond refinery with rank of lieutenant and
above. The training will include at least three hours of instruction and focus
on emergency response.
Also, Chevron agrees to provide eight hours of in-person training on process
safety management for operators at the refinery beyond the training that is
already provided; continue its collaboration with the United Steelworkers in
order to meet training requirements imposed by the new refinery safety
regulation pending approval by the OAL; donate $200,000, in addition to any
monies already donated in 2016, to the Regional Occupational Program in
Richmond, a job-readiness course offered by the Contra Costa County Office of
Education in partnership with Chevron to help prepare students for jobs in the
petrochemical and related industries; pay the citation penalties originally
proposed by Cal/OSHA in January 2013 of $782,700 plus an additional $227,300.
Cal/OSHA agrees to withdraw nine of the 17 violations cited---the withdrawn
citations include four willful-serious category violations, three serious and
two general in nature; amend five of the remaining eight violations cited, as
follows: three willful-serious category violations downgraded to two serious
and one general and two serious category violations downgraded to general
"The settlement requires Chevron to exceed current and upcoming requirements
and to use new and innovative methods recently developed by engineering experts
in the petroleum refining industry to ensure the safe operation of process
safety equipment," said Cal/OSHA Chief Julian Sum. "This means safer operations
at the refinery, which will help protect refinery workers and those who work
and live nearby."
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