End Climate Chaos
10th Anniversary of Explosion
Aug 6, 2022
August 6th - Action Day
9:30am @Richmond BART to Gate 14 @ Chevron
11:00am Keller Beach – site of February 2021 Chevron Oil Spill to meet kayakers coming on shore
Judge George Carroll PARK
12:00pm to converge with rest of community marching to Chevron’s main gate
GATE 14 @ Chevron
“120 years of broken promises, no accountability, profit at expense of health and climate. Our health is not for sale.”
120 Years of Oil Spills, Explosions and Pollution is Enough
On Saturday, August 6, hundreds of Richmond residents are coming together to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of the 2012 Chevron Refinery Fire. We will be marching to Chevron to send a message that we REFUSE another 120 years of violence on our bodies, our communities, our air.
On August 6, 2012, a massive fire tore through the Chevron Richmond refinery, sending a huge plume of black smoke over West Contra Costa County. The fire blanketed neighborhoods in black smoke and the sky turned dark as the smoke blocked out the sun. 15,000 residents sought medical treatment, and many report developing long-term respiratory issues as a result.
In the aftermath of the fire, thousands of people mobilized to City Hall, demanding that our politicians and air regulators take real action to hold Chevron accountable and protect the health and safety of workers and communities. Investigators with Cal/OSHA and the U.S. Chemical Safety Board found that Chevron had ignored a decade of warnings about severe corrosion in the pipe that caused the refinery fire.
In a 2017 interview with NBC Bay Area, Garrett Brown, a senior safety official with Cal/OSHA at the time of the fire, said “That pipe had gone from a quarter-inch thick to no thicker than a Coke can,” he said. “Management was willing to endanger the lives of Chevron employees, contractor employees and the community at large in order to save a few dollars by not shutting down a unit so it could be properly repaired and maintained. And that’s a decision they make for pure corporate profit reasons.”
A History of Pollution
In recent years, the Chevron refinery has continued to put workers and neighboring residents at risk:
- In 2021, a pipe carrying oil from the Chevron Wharf to the refinery leaked, spilling 750 gallons of diesel fuel into the Bay. The fuel leaked for as long as 2 1/2 hours before the line was clamped shut.
- Since the refinery expanded to produce hydrogen in 2018, the Chevron refinery has had record levels of flaring. Data from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, shows that the Chevron refinery had 93 flaring incidents from 2016 to 2021, three times more than any other Bay Area refinery.
- In 2021, the Chevron Richmond refinery was cited for 200 notices of violation from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, while each of the other Bay Area refineries received 7-12 notices of violation.
- After the Bay Area Air Quality Management District voted in 2021 to require that local refineries dramatically reduce particulate matter emissions, Chevron and PBF Energy sued BAAQMD to avoid complying with regulations.
- Chevron and the Western States Petroleum Association spent $2 million lobbying on California climate policy in the first three months of 2022 alone. One of their big priorities: to push for carbon capture and storage on their smokestacks.