Oakland, California September 10, 2012 - Bay Area Air Quality Management District held a meeting in San Francisco, CA to provide an overview of Air District actions in response to the August 6, 2012 Chevron Richmond California refinery fire.
Investigations by federal, state and local regulatory agencies in response to the incident have released information that cause community leaders to call into question industry best practices, the foundation for measuring safety. Recently, Cal-OSHA spokesman Peter Melton stated, "Chevron's Richmond facility scores well in comparison with other Bay Area refineries" when addressing concerns about the companies safety record.
The Black Economic Council will be meeting with more than 100 Black pastor across California to consider a new approach to safety and profits that promotes safety above profits but also encourages a profitable solution.
Community leaders question Chevron's commitment to safety and concern for the Richmond community. Yolanda Lewis, Chief Deputy for the Black Economic Council responded to Hearne's statistic that Chevron has decreased air emissions by 65% since the 1970's.
"Imagine a system where profits were directly tied to the safety of a companies products and or services"? Lewis stated. "Do you believe that 65% would be an acceptable increase in profits since the 1970's when gas was less than one dollar per gallon?"
"The BEC will request a meeting with Chevron's CEO in Richmond to meet with the Black community and Black Pastors from all over California to devise a plan well beyond the capability of any state or federal regulatory authorities," Lewis went on to say.
Chevron Richmond refinery manager, Nigel Hearne, spoke on behalf of Chevron at the meeting ensuring regulators and the community the oil giant believes that safety drives good business. Hearne stated that Chevron is commitment to safety and that any statements to the contrary are not accurate.
A recent federal audit found that Cal/OSHA's industrial process safety unit was conducting "very few, if any" comprehensive workplace-safety inspections of refineries and chemical plants in the state.
The Black Economic Council
, will host the 2nd Annual Game Changers and Bridge Builders Awards and Luncheon on Tuesday October 16, 2012 at the Marriott City Center 1001 Broadway Oakland, California 94610 from 10 AM to 2 PM. The event will showcase for industry, regulators and the community technologies that can reduce daily emissions for coal power plants, oil refineries and mines to meet and exceed current EPA standards. The inventor of the technology who has developed a solution to prevent the re-occurrence of the failed pipes due to sulfur corrosion, will receive an award at the event. Limited free registration for the event is available at http://becawards2012.eventbrite.com
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