News reports share that Chevron has officially been fined almost $1 million for the refinery fire that occurred last year in the San Francisco Bay area. This fire polluted the town, causing gas and smoke to seep into the residential areas of the city. According to the Chief investigator with the
California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, Ellen Widess, the company willingly violated several different codes of
safety within the refinery.
They allegedly were found having numerous red flags on the premises including leaking pipes in the crude unit, among other concerns in the very area that caused the explosion. Widess claims that because of this companies innovative technology they had the ability, and the responsibility, to be aware of these concerns and act on them; and they willfully failed to do so.
Widess states that Chevron Corp. alone had the capability to address these dangerous concerns on the refinery premises and because they chose not to, this dangerous explosion erupted. Reports share that in 2002 investigators as well as scientists addressed the problem during an inspection and recommended they make improvements. Years down the line the changes had not been made and the dangers increased.
The Cal OSHA cited them for 25 different violations, to the highest extent of the California state law, though Chevron claims they have full intentions of appealing these claims. OSHA cited this company for numerous errors made leading up to the incident, as well as addressing their lack of proper response to the incident itself. Fortunately there were no serious injuries in the explosion, though there were many people exposed to the toxins released into his air.
According to the reports, because of this air pollution there were thousands of people in the city to seek treatment for respiratory and other medical concerns including eye irritations. The majority of the fine money given by Chevron will be used to address the extensive medical bills that are arising from the community that was so greatly affected by the disaster. If you or someone you know was injured or made ill by a similar refinery explosion in your area, contact Arnold & Itkin today for the industrial injury attorney who can fight for you!