Oakland, CA—Oil infrastructure at Chevron's Richmond refinery failed today, causing oil to spill into the Bay. Chevron's initial measures to control the spill were inadequate, and oil quickly breached Chevron's containment boom. The Contra Costa Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office Community Warning System issued a public health advisory. The size of the spill is yet unknown.
In response, Baykeeper executive director Sejal Choksi-Chugh issued the following statement
"Chevron's oil pipeline leak today is bad news for the Bay—we’re unfortunately still learning how big the oil spill was and what the impacts are. The Bay Area’s five refineries have a long history of environmental violations, so they should be prepared for a situation like this. But Chevron's initial response to contain the spill was pathetic. Baykeeper's field investigator was one of the first to arrive on the scene, and he saw one small yellow boom deployed near the wharf, with lots of oil already spread beyond the boom into the Bay and onto nearby shorelines and beaches.
"The people of Richmond already carry a disproportionate environmental burden, and spills like this add life-threatening exposure to toxic pollutants. Now the beaches are closed, the water is contaminated, and the whole area smells like a gas station. And then there's the possibility of long-term, unknown damage to the Bay itself, and to all the wildlife that depend on it.
"Events like Chevron's pipeline rupture underscore how critical it is that we make a just transition away from toxic dirty fuels like oil and coal, and move as quickly as possible towards clean energy like wind and solar."