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Sat Dec 22, 2012, 03:03 PM

Chevron fined for violations before fire

Chevron has agreed to pay $145,600 to settle more than two dozen air-quality regulatory violations at its Richmond refinery, including citations for exceeding pollution limits and failing to inspect for leaks.

The violations all predate the Aug. 6 refinery fire that was caused when a leaking and corroded pipe broke open, spewing out a vapor cloud that ignited. The smoke cloud from the ensuing blaze prompted 15,000 people to visit hospitals for respiratory problems and other ailments.

Chevron and regulators with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District agreed this week to settle 28 violations dating as far back as 2003. In some cases Chevron violated the district's anti-flaring regulations, and in others it failed to file timely reports on pollution incidents involving hydrogen sulfide and sulfur dioxide.

John Gioia, chairman of the air district's board, said the agency's staff described the violations as "miscellaneous, minor violations."

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Chevron-fined-for-violations-before-fire-4139913.php

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