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  CC Times Article Verifies Glitches in Safety Plan Notification
November 23, 2003

An article in today’s West County Times confirmed that materials required to be available to the public at the Richmond Public Library were missing just days before the public comment period was to end. The entire article follows this email, or see http://www.bayarea.com/mld/cctimes/content_syndication/local_news/7325991.htm.


Although the comment period officially ends December 1, 2003, written comments are to be postmarked no later than November 24. Since there is no explanation of how other than written comments can be made, the comment period effectively ends tomorrow, unless someone wants to hand carry a comment to Martinez. We already know that the email response address provided by county program manager Randy Sawyer doesn’t work.


The article also noted that Richmond firefighters attended the public meeting on November 18 and requested the study be revisited to include anticipated closure of Fire Station 61 in Point Richmond. In his typically cavalier fashion, Randy Sawyer blew them off with the comment, “They [Chevron] have been able in the past to handle their own incidents.’ Are you kidding, Randy?


Who does Sawyer work for, anyway? From the way he has handled this assignment, one would think his paycheck is signed by ChevronTexaco.



Posted on Sat, Nov. 22, 2003

Group seeks safety input



The Contra Costa Health Services Department is seeking public comment on the risk management and safety plans for General Chemical and ChevronTexaco, two of West County's biggest industrial companies.

The plans are mandated by federal, state and Richmond city law. The ChevronTexaco oil refinery is situated in the western tip of the city. General Chemical, which manufactures sulfuric acid, is immediately adjacent and to the north of ChevronTexaco on Castro Street.

The plans must assess industrial and natural hazards, create programs to prevent chemical spills and toxic emissions, address management questions and establish emergency response measures.

The plans can be reviewed at the Contra Costa County Hazardous Materials Program office, 433 Pacheco Blvd., Martinez. Call 925-646-2286 for an appointment.

The plans also are supposed to be available at the Richmond Public Library's main branch, 325 Civic Center Plaza. But on Wednesday, research librarians said they had only received a site safety plan for ChevronTexaco and some 55 sheets for General Chemical with a sticky note marked "Risk management plan (replacement pages)" that had been in an emergency response manual revised last year.

Randy Sawyer, supervisor of hazardous release prevention for the county Health Services Department, said there should be two volumes for Chevron and one for general Chemical. On Thursday, he said he would see to it that the library gets more copies.

"Sometimes they get legs; people borrow them and don't bring them back," Sawyer said, "or they get misplaced."

At a meeting of the North Richmond Municipal Advisory Council on Tuesday evening, two representatives of a firefighters union said the plans need to be revisited in view of the probable closing of the Richmond Fire Department's Point Richmond station and possibly another station next year.

"This is going to cripple the ability of the Richmond Fire Department to respond," said Dan Colvig, business agent for Richmond Firefighters Local 188. "We need to be there. We don't need to be coming from across town."

Under a mutual aid pact with the ChevronTexaco fire department, Richmond firefighters respond when a refinery fire goes to second and third alarms.

Sawyer said he is confident the refinery's fire department is up to the task.

"They have been able in the past to handle their own incidents," Sawyer said.

The public comment period for the plans ends Dec. 1.

Written comments may be e-mailed to arpteam@hsd.co.contra-costa.ca.us or mailed to Randy Sawyer at the programs office, 4333 Pacheco Blvd., Martinez, CA 94553.