Controlling Groundwater Pollution at the Chevron Refinery

May 24, 2011

Last week Baykeeper advocated for strengthening regulations on groundwater pollution from the Chevron Refinery. The 2,900-acre facility, located near Richmond on the southern shore of San Pablo Bay, was built in 1902 and produces a broad range of fuels, lubricants, asphalt and petrochemicals. Over its decades of operation, the refinery has generated large quantities of industrial waste, which is now stored at the refinery and has contaminated the site's groundwater. The San Francisco Regional Water Quality Control Board is now considering regulations that update the requirements for continued maintenance and monitoring of the inactive waste, along with ongoing corrective action and water quality monitoring programs.

Baykeeper urged the Board to include a) a stricter rule for prohibiting the subsurface migration of pollutants off site and 2) a requirement that Chevron provide a plan for how it will deal with an earthquake or tsunami. The Board has already agreed to our first request and will contact Chevron regarding its earthquake plans for the refinery. Final regulations will be considered at the Board's upcoming hearing on June 8.

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