RICHMOND (KCBS) – Two East Bay lawmakers have introduced bills in Sacramento meant to address issues that they say came up following last year’s Chevron Refinery fire.
“We need to have fines that are consistent with the human danger and misery and anxiety that is caused in these incidents, not to mention what it does to our air quality,” declared Senator Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley).
Hancock has introduced a bill that would dramatically increase the civil penalties for violations of air quality regulations. Currently, the maximum fine is $25,000. Hancock’s bill would increase the fine for the first day, arguably when most of the pollution occurs, to $100,000.
“Even that (the current maximum fine of $25,000), which is rarely levied, is less than the cost of doing business for a company that makes about one million dollars a minute,” she argued.
Hancock is confident that increasing the penalty will help to insure that violations simply don’t happen in the first place.