|Safety Plan Comments Due Now
November 22, 2003
There are ONLY TWO DAYS LEFT to comment on the safety plans required by the Richmond Industrial Safety Ordinance (RISO) for the ChevronTexaco Refinery and General Chemical. Unfortunately, the County Health Department has not made it easy. Only two copies of the plans are available Ė one in Martinez and one that supposedly is at the Richmond Library, but apparently isnít.
Written comments may be sent by email to ARPTeam@hsd.co.contra-costa.ca.us. If you do nothing else, SEND AN EMAIL NOW demanding that CHEVRONTEXACO EITHER DIMINISH THE VOLUME OF STORED AMMONIA OR IMPLEMENT SAFETY PROCEDURES TO DRAMATICALLY REDUCE THE RISK so that people living or working outside the refinery will not be at risk. The Worst Case Scenario for an ammonia release would result in 220,000 lbs. of ammonia released over 10 minutes that would seriously affect anyone within a 5-mile radius, which includes a large portion of West Contra Costa County. The Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) Alternate Release Scenario (ARS) for ammonia will seriously affect anyone within a 1.3 mile radius, which includes parts of Point Richmond, I-580, western Richmond and the Point San Pablo peninsula, including point Molate. In fact, it was the existence of ChevronTexacoís ammonia storage that led the Point Molate EIS to conclude that residential development at Point Molate was incompatible with ChevronTexaco. Never mind that residents of Point Richmond are within the same ARS radius.
The Worst Case Scenario for failure of a butane storage sphere at ChevronTexaco would also seriously affect anyone within a 1.3 mile radius, which includes parts of Point Richmond, I-580, western Richmond and the Point San Pablo peninsula, including Point Molate.
There are still serious risks related to General Chemical, but I understand they have been diminished in the last few years due to a change in operations.
I havenít had an opportunity to look at the Risk Management Plans and the Safety Plans, but I would be surprised if they fully illustrated the Worst Case Scenarios and Alternate Release Scenarios. Allegedly because of potential use by terrorists, Federal law makes it illegal to release Offsite Consequence Analyses maps to the general public. The real reason, I suspect, is that they donít want people to see how dangerous these industries are and what the consequences are of a toxic release.
The full text of the Countyís press release is copied below:
Contact: Randy Sawyer 925-646-2879
The public comment period for the Risk Management Plan and the Safety Plan began on October 10, 2003 and will end on December 1. Written comments are due November 24. Contra Costa Health Services will respond to all written comments
WHY: The California Accidental Release Prevention (CalARP) Program requires facilities with regulated chemicals to submit a Risk Management Plan (RMP). Richmond's Industrial Safety Ordinance (RISO) requires regulated facilities to submit a Safety Plan.
The Risk Management Plan gives an assessment of the potential hazards a facility may present, the prevention programs in place at the facility, the facility's emergency response program, and the management systems in place to implement the overall program. The Safety Plan expands on the RMP and covers all of the processes at the facility and expands the requirements of select prevention programs. The prevention programs include but are not limited to training of operators, maintenance, operating procedures, contractor safety, incident investigation and process hazard analyses.
The CalARP Program and the RISO require Contra Costa Health Services, as the Administering Agency, to perform a completeness review/audit/inspection (Audit) of he regulated stationary sources. The Audit is performed at stationary sources to ensure that they are in compliance with the CalARP Program and RISO regulations and are consistent with their RMP and Safety Plan.
NOTE: The RMP and Safety Plan may be reviewed at the Contra Costa Health Services Hazardous Materials Programs Office at 4333 Pacheco Blvd. in Martinez. Call (925) 646-2286 for an appointment. The RMP and Safety Plan may also be reviewed at the Richmond library.
Written comments may be sent by email to ARPTeam@hsd.co.contra-costa.ca.us or by mail to:
Contra Costa Health Services Hazardous Materials Programs
Attention: Randy Sawyer
4333 Pacheco Blvd.Martinez, CA 94553