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Criminal probe of Chevron in Richmond refinery disaster*

Monday, September 24, 2012

The federal government has opened a criminal investigation of Chevron growing out of the Aug. 6 Richmond refinery explosion and fire. [The story was reported Saturday by the Chronicle's Jaxon Van Derbekon. As did the Chronicle on Saturday, the] Contra Costa Times is reporting [reported today] that the oil giant failed to monitor pollution from a pipe at the refinery left unconnected as it was supposed to have been, to a pollution monitoring device for four years, contrary to air quality rules. As a result, air quality officials were left with no way of knowing how much pollution was spewed into the air from the refinery blaze.

An excerpt from [the CoCo Times] piece by David DeBolt:
Air quality district inspectors found that Chevron used a pipe to circumvent a required monitoring device, a violation of a 2005 air quality district rule intended to reduce flaring and emissions at Bay Area refineries. . . .[skip] . . . The Chevron pipe existed before the rule was effective, but Chevron should have removed it or properly installed a monitoring device, said Wayne Kino, an enforcement manager for the air quality district.
Contra Costa supervisor John Goia, who also chairs the regional air quality board, tells DeBolt: “How do we ever trust them about anything now? That’s where I am.”
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