Chevron announced this week it has initiated a root cause analysis to determine what caused the flaring incident at the Richmond Refinery on Dec. 18 that alarmed residents.
A team of experts assembled by the company is in the early stages of the investigation, according a letter submitted to the Contra Costa Health Services Department hazardous materials director Randall Sawyer. The investigation team will also include representation from the United Steel Workers, the primary union representing workers at the refinery. The company has also pledged to share the results with local officials including Sawyer’s department, the Bay Air Quality Management District, City of Richmond and the public.
The root cause analysis is an in-depth response to community concerns about the incident and also a follow-up to the 72-hour report that Chevron submitted to the county on Friday (See the full report below).
The community was concerned the incident was a fire, but as the 72-hour report indicates, the unplanned flaring incident occurred as part of the refinery’s safety system that enabled the depressurizing and shutdown of its Solvent De-Asphalting (SDA) Unit. A loss of cooling in the unit initiated the safety flaring.
The root cause analysis will probe what happened in the SDA Unit that required that it be taken offline.
The report indicated no health impact to the community. The fence line and community air monitoring stations reported all the levels were below state and federal health limits.
Here’s the full 72-hour report:
Crime | Oct 20, 2015
A 31-year-old Richmond woman was sentenced to 21 years in state prison Tuesday for fatally shooting a 16-year-old ex-boyfriend who …
Jobs | Jan 26, 2016
Starting Feb. 1, Chevron will begin accepting applications for Operator Trainee positions at the Richmond Refinery, the company announced today. …
Crime | Nov 18, 2015
The woman pictured is wanted by police in connection with the violent robbery of an El Cerrito High student on …
Crime | Jul 14, 2015
A man was killed and a 17-year-old critically injured after shots rang out at the Monterey Pines Apartments complex in …
Crime | Sep 6, 2016
The community is mourning the deaths of an 18-year-old and her unborn child following a shooting in San Pablo Monday …
Recent News | Feb 7, 2014
Although the US Postal Service says only a small percentage of packages end up lost or delayed at its national …