RICHMOND -- The U.S. Chemical Safety Board will present and vote on adopting the latest report on its investigation into the 2012 fire at Richmond's Chevron refinery at a public meeting Wednesday in the City Council chamber.
The 6:30 p.m. meeting at 440 Civic Center Plaza will present the draft regulatory report, which CSB officials say recommends that California "develop and implement a step-by-step plan to establish a more rigorous safety management regulatory framework for petroleum refineries ..." that resembles regimes in Europe.
The CSB board will consider and vote on the report stemming from the Aug. 6, 2012, fire at the Chevron refinery that endangered 19 workers and sent more than 15,000 residents to the hospital seeking medical attention.
According to a CSB news release, the safety case regime "would require companies to demonstrate to refinery industry regulators -- through a written safety
case report -- how major hazards are to be controlled and risks reduced to as low as reasonably practicable," which represents a fundamental change by shifting the responsibility for reducing risks of major accidents from regulators to the company.
Several environmental groups plan to hold a rally outside the chamber before the meeting in support of the CSB's recommendations.
The CSB's first interim report, which was approved by the board at a public meeting in April, found that Chevron repeatedly failed over a 10-year period to apply inherently safer design principles and upgrade piping in its crude oil processing unit, which was corroded and ultimately ruptured.
The CSB is an investigative agency without enforcement power, but its recommendations are expected to influence state, county and local policies regulating refineries.