On behalf of the US Chemical Safety Board I would like to take the opportunity to applaud the recent actions by the City of Richmond to begin the process of adopting recommendations resulting from the board’s interim report into the August 6, 2012, explosion and fire at the Chevron Refinery in Richmond, CA. The city’s actions are a very positive step towards preventing future incidents in the City of Richmond.
The board proposed a series of recommendations to the mayor and city council of Richmond and the Contra Costa County supervisors aimed at strengthening the local Industrial Safety Ordinance and driving the risk of major accidents as low as reasonably practicable.
On May 7 Mayor Gayle McLaughlin introduced a resolution to the Richmond City Council to “implement recommendations of the US Chemical Safety Board about refinery safety.” This resolution was adopted unanimously by the City Council. The CSB applauds this action.
Prompt action on behalf of the City of Richmond is ensuring that the board’s work is having an impact on the lives of the people who live and work in the Richmond community. On behalf of the CSB I would like to acknowledge the effective action by the city’s leadership and recognize the important effort being made to improve the lives and safety of the people who live and work in the City of Richmond.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON CSB RECOMMENDATIONS AND INTERIM REPORT
At a public meeting on April 19, 2013, the CSB’s Board Members unanimously approved an interim report examining the August 6, 2013, fire and explosion at the Chevron Refinery in Richmond, CA.
The CSB investigation team proposed to the Board urgent recommendations, including that at all its refineries, Chevron perform damage mechanism hazard reviews and ensure safeguards are in place to control identified hazards. In addition, the board issued an urgent recommendation that chemical companies report process safety indicators to enable more effective oversight by federal, state, and local regulatory agencies.
The board further recommended that the governor and legislature of the State of California create a multi-agency program for all California oil refineries to improve the public accountability, transparency and performance of process safety programs. And the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was urged to assist the state to monitor the effective implementation of programs designed to improve oil refinery safety and disclosure requirements the CSB is recommending to the state and local agencies.
CLICK HERE for full text of the CSB’s recommendations
The CSB is an independent federal agency charged with investigating industrial chemical accidents. The agency's board members are appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. CSB investigations look into all aspects of chemical accidents, including physical causes such as equipment failure as well as inadequacies in regulations, industry standards, and safety management systems.
The Board does not issue citations or fines but does make safety recommendations to plants, industry organizations, labor groups, and regulatory agencies such as OSHA and EPA. Visit our website, www.csb.gov.
For more information, contact Communications Manager Hillary Cohen, cell 202-446-8094 or Sandy Gilmour, Public Affairs, cell 202-251-5496.