At a news conference in Emeryville, officials from the U.S. Chemical Safety Board portrayed a refinery that took a Band-Aid approach to plant maintenance — pipes were often clamped as they aged rather than being replaced, and the section of pipe that ruptured had deteriorated to less than half the thickness of a dime.
The fire that destroyed part of Chevron’s Richmond refinery happened because weak state regulations allowed the company to monitor rather than simply fix potential problems, federal investigators said Monday.
“The bottom line,” Rafael Moure-Eraso, chairman of the U.S. Chemical Safety Board, “is that Chevron had resources, time and technical expertise to know the risks. However, there was no effective intervention before the major accident occurred.
EMERYVILLE, Calif./HOUSTON, April 15 (Reuters) – – The U.S. Chemical Safety Board on Monday recommended that Chevron Corp check for ongoing damage to pipes and equipment at its U.S. refineries to prevent another explosion like the Aug. 6 pipeline blast at the company’s San Francisco Bay area refinery.
The Safety Board, in an interim report issued Monday, said Chevron did not act upon six recommendations over 10 years to increase inspection and replace the line at its Richmond, California, refinery with upgraded pipe.