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Richmond mayor seeks transparency on Chevron fire

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					 OFFICE OF MAYOR GAYLE MCLAUGHLIN




August 7, 2012
***For Immediate Release**
Media Contact: Jeff Shoji, jeff@officeofthemayor.net ,(510) 932-1942


    Richmond Mayor Seeks Full Transparency in Determining Cause of Refinery Fire

Richmond, CA. Residents in Richmond and the surrounding area were reminded last night of
the ongoing risk of living in close proximity to a major oil refinery. Tens of thousands of people
were advised to “shelter-in-place” as a level 3 health warning due to fire and explosions in the
crude unit at Chevron's Richmond refinery. Huge billows of black smoke were spewed for miles
into Bay Area air, impacting residents in Richmond, North Richmond, San Pablo, and El Cerrito.
As far away as the Oakland hills, people were advised to stay indoors. The shelter-in-place lasted
throughout the night while firefighters worked to contain the fire.

This morning the shelter-in-place has been lifted, although a health advisory remains in place.
Chevron has announced that the fire is contained and the situation is under control. However,
controlled burning continues, which remains a big concern to local residents, especially the most
vulnerable with respiratory conditions such as asthma and other breathing difficulties.

Thankfully, Chevron employees experienced only a few minor burns, but hundreds of Richmond
residents were seen at local hospital emergency rooms for respiratory problems and difficulty
breathing. According to a filing with the California Emergency Management Agency, the fire
released sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, hydrogen oxide, sulfuric acid and nitrogen dioxide into
the air. A Chevron representative has stated that "diesel grade materials" from the crude unit was
the source of the combustion.

Three local BART stations (Richmond, El Cerrito, and Del Norte) were closed for hours, but all
are currently operating.

Concerns remain about inadequacies and delays in the communication system which reportedly
notified only some residents about the shelter-in-place, and not in a timely manner.

While the situation seems to be under control, the investigation is just beginning.

Chevron will be holding a Town Hall meeting tonight at the Richmond Auditorium, 403 Civic
Center Plaza, at 6 pm. All are invited to share concerns and ask questions.

“We live with this risk day in and day out. I will be seeking a full investigation and analysis from
both Chevron and independent sources. I am calling on Chevron for full and complete
transparency and accountability in determining what caused the health and safety of our residents
to be jeopardized,” said Mayor Gayle McLaughlin, who will attend the Town Hall meeting
tonight. “Our community is rightfully concerned and we shall continue to seek full cooperation
                     450 Civic Center Plaza, Richmond, CA 94804-1630
        Telephone: (510) 620-6503 Fax: (510) 412-2070 www.ci.richmond.ca.us
 OFFICE OF MAYOR GAYLE MCLAUGHLIN




from Chevron regarding all aspects of their day-to-day operations of this inherently dangerous
and complex process of oil refining.”

                                              ###




                  450 Civic Center Plaza, Richmond, CA 94804-1630
       Telephone: (510) 620-6503 Fax: (510) 412-2070 www.ci.richmond.ca.us

				
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