Friday, August 10, 2012

The Chevron Richmond Refinery Had Another Fire

Being a resident of Richmond California can seriously be a hazard to your health. Living in a town that has the third largest oil refinery in the state, run by Chevron has had its share of fires in the past. In January of 2007, the seal on a pump in a crude unit failed, triggering a fire that lasted almost 10 hours. A former worker at Chevron Richmond refinery named David Rorai 60, worked as a welder about a decade ago said another explosion injured several workers. There were two explosions at 6:15 p.m. on August 6, 2012. With two large fires emitted thick, black smoke into the sky. Chevron officials said, the fire started at the refinery's No. 4 Crude Unit. An inspection crew discovered that, there was a diesel leak in a line in the unit just before 6:30 p.m. All employees were evacuated no serious injuries were reported. One employee had burns on his wrist and was treated at Chevron Richmond refinery onsite clinic. Sirens ripped through the air, alerting residents to stay indoors to prevent breathing tainted air. Richmond, North Richmond and San Pablo shelter-in-place remained in effect until late Monday. All of Contra Costa County had an advisory, for those with lung conditions or a sensitivity to smoke to stay indoors. Oakland hills residents were being warned by police about smoke heading their way. Smoke stretched out over the El Cerrito hills. Contra Costa County hazardous materials units rolled through the neighborhoods, taking air samples. Contra Costa County hazardous materials specialist Trisha Asuncion said, “That no hazardous compounds had been detected in the air, but that monitoring would continue.” Several dozen people went to Kaiser's Richmond Medical Center complaining of shortness of breath. BART was affected they shut down, Richmond, El Cerrito del Norte and El Cerrito Plaza stations at about 7 p.m., and shut down service between Richmond and El Cerrito and Richmond and North Berkeley about 30 minutes later. Richmond Station remained closed late Monday. 500 angry residents crowded the Richmond convention center August 7, 2012 for a community meeting and demanded answers. Chevron was called to answer questions about the incident. They booed when refinery General Manger Nigel Hearne apologized again for the fire. Rev. Kenneth Davis of North Richmond Baptist Church said, "You talk about shelter in place, but how long can I hold my breath," and "What about our dogs, our cats, our chickens, our horses and what about our children?" I can feel for the residents of Richmond to have another fire 5 years apart is not good. Not knowing how this is going to affect their health in the long run. Another thing is how this will affect the already high prices of gas? On Tuesday throughout California spot gas prices could reach $4 a gallon by next week. After the fire at Chevron's east Bay refinery. Chief oil analyst Tom Kloza of Oil Price Information Service said, "With the spike in spot gasoline prices today, you are looking at average pump prices in the Bay Area ranging from $4 to $4.10 a gallon within a week or so," The price of gas in the Bay Area is $3.70 or a bit higher. As for the price of gas being raised, is so unfair. What can we do about it? Everyone is going to continue to drive, so we all are going to have to suck it up and get over it.


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