On Tuesday, August 7, 2012, Chevron hosted a Town Hall Meeting at the Richmond Auditorium at 6PM. Chevron Richmond, Bay Area Air Quality Management District, Contra Costa County, and City of Richmond addressed the community and responded to questions. View photos and a video recording of Chevron's Town Hall Meeting.
On Thursday, August 9, 2012, Chevron released a 72-hour cover letter and report.
Contra Costa County
Please click here for an August 10, 2012, update from Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia.
On Tuesday, August 14, 2012, the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors received a report from Contra Costa Health Services Department staff. The meeting took place at 9:30AM in the County Administration Building, 651 Pine St. Room 107, Martinez, CA 94553. The item is listed on page 2 of the agenda with a staff report on pages 44 and 45 of the meeting packet. A video recording of the meeting is accessible at the following link under "Item D1 oral report on the event at the Chevron Refinery in Richmond" and is being rebroadcast on KCRT (Comcast Channel 28, AT&T Channel 99). Please click here for a schedule of viewing times on KCRT.
On Tuesday, August 21, 2012, the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors received another update from Contra Costa Health Services Department staff during the Board of Supervisors Meeting. The meeting took place at 9:30AM in the County Administration Building, 651 Pine St. Room 107, Martinez, CA 94553. The oral report is listed as item D.1 on the meeting agenda. City staff will post a link to a video recording of the meeting once it becomes available.
Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) Community Health Information
What chemicals were released into the air and how dangerous are they?
A variety of chemicals were released during the Chevron Richmond refinery fire. Smoke particulates, which are what makes smoke black, were the major concern during this fire. Smoke particulates can irritate the throat, lungs and eyes particularly in those with pre-existing lung disease, such as asthma. Benzene, a chemical that can cause cancer, and other toxic chemicals can also be present in smoke. Test results from air samples that were taken by Contra Costa Hazardous Materials Response Team and staff from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) were analyzed by BAAQMD and show the level of benzene and other toxic chemicals was below harmful levels during the fire and poses no risk of cancer. We do not have good measurements of the smoke particulates that impacted the community.
Is it safe to eat fruits and vegetables from my garden?
According to Contra Costa Health Services, it is safe to eat fruits and vegetables from local gardens. It’s always a good idea to wash fruits and vegetables before eating. If you live in an area that was affected by the refinery fire, you can wash fruits and vegetables from your garden with soap and mild detergent (like liquid dish soap). Washing your fruits and vegetables will remove any particulates that might have been on the surface from smoke. You also can peel off the outer layer of lettuce or peel your fruit if you are concerned.
For answers to specific questions about the incident, including water and garden safety, please see the Contra Costa Health Services FAQ in English or Spanish (PDF) .
Contra Costa County Sheriff
The Contra Costa County Sheriff, Office of Emergency Services (OES) is responsible for Disaster Management and Emergency Preparedness. OES coordinates information, plans for resources, and support priorities among County agencies, local governments, and special Districts. Interested residents can register to receive alerts on your phone here.
Links to Additional Information
Contra Costa Health Services: (925) 335-3200
Health Emergencies Information
CCHS Facebook page and Twitter page
Contra Costa Community Awareness and Community Response (CAER): (925) 313-9296
Contra Costa County Office of Emergency Services: (925) 228-5000
Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office - Community Warning System: (925) 313-9603
Office of the Sheriff Community Warning System Twitter
Contra Costa County Disaster Preparedness Services information (PDF)
City of Richmond
The City is continuing to receive updates from various governmental agencies involved in determining the public health impacts, results from air quality testing, and the current status of multiple ongoing investigations. We will continue to update the City’s website with up-to-date information as we receive it. Residents can also receive weekly updates from the City Manager by signing up for the City Manager weekly report here. Archives of the City Manager's weekly report can be found here.
As a result of the Chevron Refinery fire and in an effort to protect public health and sanitation, the City of Richmond’s Parks and Landscaping Division performed a general wash down of all park play equipment, benches, picnic tables, and drinking fountains at all of the City’s 53 park sites. Work began on Wednesday, August 8th.
City Manager's Office Contact Number: (510) 620-6512.
Regional and Federal Agencies
Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD)
Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) 2012 News Releases regarding the Chevron fire including the initial statement and ongoing investigation can be found here. The news releases include the following:
- Air District statement on Chevron fire air quality amples (8/07/2012)
- Air District statement on Chevron fire (8/07/2012)
The Chevron Refinery Incident Sample Results and Sample Map results of air samples collected by BAAQMD during the August 6th fire are available online.
Bay Area Quality Management District - (415) 771-6000
U.S. Chemical Safety Board
On August 11, 2012, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) announced that it will pursue a full investigation to determine the causes of Monday’s fire at the Chevron oil refinery. The CSB is an independent federal agency charged with investigating serious chemical accidents. The agency's board members are appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. CSB investigations look into all aspects of chemical accidents, including physical causes such as equipment failure as well as inadequacies in regulations, industry standards, and safety management systems. Please visit the CSB’s website for up-to-date information.
On Thursday, August 16th, CSB issued the following statement: “CSB are continuing with interviews. Today the CSB received a large volume of documents from Chevron, including pipe thickness measurements on the 8 inch pipe - the CSB is currently reviewing these documents. The team has not moved any closer to the location of the release due to the ongoing concern of nearby hydrocarbons. Chevron is working on a plan on how to clear out and isolate the nearby line.”
On Friday, August 17th, CSB issued the following statement: "Progress continues today on the investigation of the August 6 fire at the Chevron Richmond Refinery. This afternoon the CSB and Cal-OSHA both signed an agreement providing for sustained cooperation at the site, including the ongoing preservation of the accident site and the identification and testing of evidence. The CSB looks forward to the inclusion of Chevron and the United Steelworkers Union in the agreement, which will provide a blueprint for the orderly conduct of the various investigations and inspections. Future agreements should cover the independent testing of the pipe that failed and any other key pieces of evidence. All parties continue to cooperate.
The immediate area of the failed pipe remains hazardous for entry due to hydrocarbons and structural issues. A plan is under development for making the site safe for entry.
On Monday [August 20th], CSB Chairman Dr. Rafael Moure-Eraso plans to travel to San Francisco and tour the accident site. The CSB investigation team will continue work at the site this weekend, but no further updates are planned, and no spokespeople will be available."Please click here for CSB news releases including the following:
- CSB to Pursue Full Investigation of August 6 Fire at Chevron Refinery in Richmond, California (8/11/2012)
- CSB Deploying to Fire and Explosion at the Chevron Refinery in Richmond, California (8/08/2012)
- CSB Investigators Examine Accident Site at Chevron Refinery: Video (8/14/2012)
For further information contact Communications Director Hilary Cohen at (202) 446-8094, Sandy Gilmour at (202) 251-5496 or the U.S. Chemical Safety Board mainline at (202) 261-7630.
Additional Community Contacts
Odor Call Line: (510) 242-2127
Kaiser Richmond: (510) 307-1500
Doctor's Medical Center: (510) 970-5000
Brookside Community Health Center: (510) 231-9800
United Way of Bay Area Help Line: 2-1-1
File a Claim
A claims process has been set up by Chevron (Incident response) to compensate community members for medical and property expenses incurred as a result of the fire. To file a claim, please call: (866) 260-7881 or visit the claims information website. Residents can also file a claim by visiting the Chevron help center at the Nevin Community Center, 598 Nevin Avenue, from 9AM to 7PM Monday through Friday or 8AM to noon on Saturday.
Chevron General Call Line: (510) 242-2000
Chevron Claims Hotline: (866) 260-7881
Please find the most recent annoucements from Chevron below or click here for archived announcements.
From: Ritchie, Melissa [mailto:MRitchie@chevron.com]
Chevron is opening a help center in North Richmond on Wednesday, August 22 through Friday August 24, to assist residents who want to file claims related to the August 6, 2012 incident.
Help Center Location:
Richmond Community Heritage Senior Apartments in the Community Room
Hours of operation:
9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Wednesday through Friday (August 22-August 24)
Additionally, the last day to make a claim at the Help Center at the Nevin Community Center is Saturday August 25. The Help center will remain open until Friday, August 31 for people to submit requested documentation for their claims in person, but they will not be accepting new claims.
Live operators are also available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for those wishing to file a claim by phone. The number is 866-260-7881.