Overhaul approved for troubled California refinery

Jul 30, 2014 11:27 AM by News Staff

RICHMOND, Calif. (AP) - Leaders of a San Francisco suburb have approved a $1 billion upgrade of Chevron's troubled 1960s-era oil refinery, the largest in Northern California, after the company offered last-minute concessions.

The Contra Costa Times reports the City Council of Richmond voted 5-0 Tuesday night for the overhaul.

The late changes hammered out by Chevron and city staff include $90 million in community investments and safety improvements such as piping upgrades and more sensors and air monitors.

The refinery complex has weathered a series of toxic releases and other accidents over the years - including a pollutant-laced 2012 fire that forced 15,000 Bay Area residents to seek treatment for breathing problems.

Chevron sought approval for technological upgrades that would allow the refinery to process higher-sulfur crude oil, among other changes.


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