Feds want tougher refinery oversight in California

by the Associated Press
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The Chevron Refinery in Richmond, CA

The Chevron Refinery in Richmond, CA. (AP Photo)

RICHMOND, Calif. (AP) — Federal refinery safety regulators are recommending California change how it oversees oil refineries in the wake of a massive fire at a Chevron Corp. facility in Richmond that sent thousands of residents seeking medical attention.

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board released a draft report on Monday of its investigation of the August 2012 fire. It calls on California to implement a more rigorous safety system similar to ones used in Europe and Australia.

The board’s investigators found previously that Chevron failed to act on warnings from its own inspectors to replace the 1970s-era pipe that corroded and failed.

The report found state and federal oversight is largely reactive, and recommended a new system requiring refinery operators to more diligently monitor safety systems before an accident occurs.

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