State Agency Cites, Fines BP Refinery After Fire

The agency proposed penalties of $81,500.

Washington state's Department of Labor & Industries announced Aug. 30 it has cited the BP Cherry Point petroleum refinery in Blaine, Wash. for six violations, including one willful violation related to management of pipeline and refinery processes. Proposed penalties are $81,500.

Separately, BP America, Inc. announced it will donate $1 million to support disaster relief efforts in Louisiana and Mississippi following Hurricane Isaac. The company said the donation will be made to the American Red Cross and The Salvation Army and divided equally between the two states.

The L&I news release indicated a willful violation is the most significant civil classification possible and is used when L&I alleges the violation was committed with intentional disregard or plain indifference or substitution of judgment with respect to worker safety and health regulations.

A Feb. 17, 2012, fire and subsequent shutdown at the refinery prompted L&I to open an inspection. No one was injured by the fire, which occurred when a corroded "deadleg" pipe ruptured. (Deadlegs are rarely used pipes that still must be monitored for integrity for when they are needed to carry material used in the refining process, according to the release.)

L&I said the willful violation was for allegedly not ensuring that inspection and testing procedures for process piping followed recognized and generally accepted good engineering practices for all deadleg piping circuits

BP has until Sept. 13 to appeal the citation.

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