CSB Rejects CA Oil Refinery Overhaul Proposal

Two of three safety board members reject the plan, citing it as ‘overly ambitious’

The US Chemical Safety Board (CSB) rejected a proposed plan that would “overhaul” California’s refinery safety practices, according to an article from the San Francisco Chronicle. Two out of three safety board members rejected the plan at a city council meeting on Wednesday night, suggesting that it was overly ambitious and wouldn’t do much for immediately improving safety.

The proposal came in the wake of the Chevron fire that occurred in August 2012. According to the SF Chronicle, the CSB’s chairman, Rafael Moure-Eraso, had urged California to move beyond its ineffective management since the Chevron fire and to instead move to an alternative model embraced in Europe: the safety case regime. This regime mandates that oil refiners “continuously prove to regulators that they are cutting risks of fires and accidents to the greatest extent possible.”

Though Eraso is a fan of the regime, the other two board members are not, suggesting that more work needs to be done in the short term before embracing that method. They even suggested that there is no proof the European model works and that it could possibly add more complexity than is necessary. 

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