Chevron Agrees to Spend $20 Million in Process Safety Settlement

The settlement resolves Chevron's appeal of the citations Cal/OSHA issued after the Richmond refinery fire in 2012.

Chevron Corp. has agreed to a process safety settlement with Cal/OSHA of the citations issued after the Aug. 6, 2012, fire at the company's refinery in Richmond, Calif. -- an incident that prompted California to enact a new refinery safety regulation earlier this year. Chevron will spend an estimated $20 million on process safety improvements called for in the settlement, and the settlement resolves Chevron's appeal of the citations Cal/OSHA issued; they alleged 17 violations of safety and health standards, and the agency classified six as serious and nine as willful.

Cal/OSHA announced the settlement July 24 and said it meets and exceeds the refinery safety rule.

"The settlement requires Chevron to exceed current and upcoming requirements and to use new and innovative methods recently developed by engineering experts in the petroleum refining industry to ensure the safe operation of process safety equipment," said Juliann Sum, head of Cal/OSHA. "This means safer operations at the refinery, which will help protect workers and those who work and live nearby."

Chevron's improvements will include:

  • Replacing all carbon steel piping that transports corrosive liquids with chrome alloy piping, which has better corrosion resistance, at an estimated cost of $15 million.
  • Developing and implementing criteria and procedures, at an estimated cost of $5 million, to monitor equipment to alert operators when equipment should be replaced. Cal/OSHA's announcement describes this as "a new and innovative practice recently development by refinery engineering experts."

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