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Chevron Fire Could Lead To Changes In Contra Costa’s Industrial Safety Ordinance

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Smoke rises from the scene of a fire at the Chevron refinery in Richmond, August 6, 2012. (James P.)

Smoke rises from the scene of a fire at the Chevron refinery in Richmond, August 6, 2012. (James P.)

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RICHMOND (KCBS) – The Industrial Safety Ordinance in Contra Costa County, which has been touted as the strongest in the country, may be in for some changes following the recent Chevron refinery fire in Richmond.

The toxic smoke that spewed from a crude oil processing unit at the Chevron refinery sent more than 5,700 people to the hospital, many with respiratory issues.

KCBS’ Dave Padilla Reports:

West County Supervisor John Gioia said the county has an Industrial Safety Ordinance in place to increase the safety of petro-chemical plants.

“Richmond should adopt the 2007 county amendment. But as to any other amendments, I think we’ll just have to wait and see what comes out of the federal report,” he said.

Gioia said it’s possible U.S. Chemical Safety Board investigators may make recommendations for strengthening the I.S.O. But a report on the root cause of the accident may take awhile.

“From what I understand, it could take them nine months to a year for a final report, but that they release information along the way and that they will meet with the county over the next couple of months so that we may get good preliminary information before the final report,” Gioia said.

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board is one of several agencies investigating the fire at the Richmond facility.

Back in 2007, Contra Costa County amended the Industrial Safety Ordinance, but the city of Richmond failed to follow the county’s lead.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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