Industrialized Cyclist Notepad


EPA and local regulators’ epic fail on Chevron Richmond refinery

People should be enraged about this. Enraged at Chevron, enraged at the fake govt. investigations and blatantly captured regulators that continue to blow sulfur dioxide up the public’s ass.

Air quality officials say Chevron fashioned a pipe inside its refinery that routed hydrocarbon gases around monitoring equipment and allowed them to be burned off without officials knowing about it. Some of the gases escaped into the air, but because the company didn’t record them, investigators have no way of being certain of the level of pollution exposure to thousands of people who live downwind from the plant.

“They were routing gas through that pipe to the flare that they were not monitoring,” said Jack Broadbent, executive director of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, whose inspectors uncovered what Chevron was doing and ordered the bypass pipe removed.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s criminal enforcement unit opened an investigation in early 2012, more than two years after the local inspectors made their discovery, according to air-quality officials and others familiar with the probe. The investigation is still open, and Chevron employees have been interviewed.

via Criminal investigation at Chevron refinery – SFGate.

In case you missed it, years ago Chevron was required to install pollution monitoring equipment as part of one of those sweetheart settlement deals after they were caught violating the rules. Years ago, it was discovered that the plant had installed pipes bypassing this pollution monitoring equipment so the refinery’s unmonitored poison gases could be flared into the open air. Years ago. This became public recently only after the SF Chronicle was able to review records, which they requested as a result of the unrelated fire at the refinery.

Interesting parallels with Denver’s chronically leaking Suncor refinery. A refinery in blatant violation of all sorts of laws, but without any fear of a real crackdown by those public officials who are supposed to do something about it. So the violations continue, for years, until the truth manages to escape the regulators who’ve been keeping it from the public.

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