Report: State Inspections of Oil Refineries Have Fallen Short For Last Decade

A San Francisco Chronicle article published Friday cites a federal audit that said said few if any inspections have been comprehensive and none have resulted in fines for violations in the past decade.

State government safety inspections of California's oil refineries — including the Chevron facility in Richmond — have fallen short of federal standards, according to a San Francisco Chronicle article published Friday.

The article cites "recently released federal audit of the state's Division of Occupational Safety and Health, which is charged with enforcing state and federal workplace-safety rules at California refineries."

The audit concluded that Cal-OSHA had "very few, if any" comprehensive inspections of oil and chemical plants under its authority, according to the article.

"The limited checks that California inspectors have performed over the last decade have not led to a single fine collected from a major oil company, according to inspection records," the Chronicle reported.

The audit had been completed shortly before the at the Chevron refinery in Richmond, according to the article.

Redrock September 07, 2012 at 08:23 PM
Here we go again! THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT performing audits in our state! OKAY- so it was a refinery explosion, followed by a fire and large clouds of potentially toxic smoke! Accidents happen… Get over it! The oil companies are the experts- let them take care of the problems! This is exactly what we republicans mean when we say, “TOO MUCH GOVERNMENT.” They want to intrude upon every aspect of our state sovereignty and more importantly, our personal lives! I am tired of FEDERAL REGULATIONS telling me what I can and can’t do! If we Californian’s are willing too accept poor refinery safety standards then we should allow the large oil companies the freedom to operate as they please- without all these intrusive federal regulations, especially the ones about public safety and air quality! What a bunch of left wing, liberal propaganda! If we demand lower gas prices, then we are just going to have to accept occasional, low to mid level refinery disasters from time to time. You DEMS worry about public health and the environment way too much! Let God and big business worry about those things! NO-BAMA 2012!
Earl Richards September 08, 2012 at 03:43 PM
Congratulations to this tenacious newspaper, the San Francisco Chronicle, for investigating the negligence and lack of due diligence (laziness) of Chevron and the regulators. This newspaper is doing the work that the official opposition should be doing.
None September 09, 2012 at 01:24 AM
So, the S.F Comical is doing a good job. How about the Sacramento Bee? They attempted to put some oversight on the building of “Our” new bay bridge and no one seems to care. Has anyone given even a look at the problems with “Our” new Bay Bridge? There are problems with the welding of the rebar, and there are problems with the mixture of the concrete and there are problems with the oversight on that (expensive, tax funded project) and the enlightened few still go after a local Oil Company! Yes, they had an accident and yes, it let a little smoke into our atmosphere. I looked at the pictures and it appeared that the smoke went straight up for more than 1000 feet! But what happens when our new bridge takes a trip and finds itself sinking into “Our” bay? Who was responsible for the lack of oversight in the building “Our” Bay Bridge? I believe it was “Our” state inspectors, but where is the outrage? The folks that allegedly do the oversight on the bridge are state employees and how many have been fired or have lost their jobs? Most
Earl Richards September 09, 2012 at 07:28 AM
Your comments are off topic. Chevron is not a local company, it is the largest corporation in California with immense, political clout.
None September 12, 2012 at 01:10 AM
Earl: How many levels of Government are you willing to support? We have City Inspectors, County Inspectors, State Inspectors, Cal OSHA as well as Fed OSHA, we also have the BAAQMD along with CARB and then the EPA. All of these folks have the job of making things safe. And how many more levels of Government that are supposed to make things better? But, what happens when there is an accident, and don’t tell us you have never experienced one. Yes, Oil Companies are big corporations but so are MacDonald’s, Jack in the Box, and most other employers and business that work in our state. You didn’t bother to address the problems with “Our New Bay Bridge,” and that’s got to be another evil “Big Business.”


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