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Refinery's Self-Inspection Criticized
March 5, 1997

San Francisco Chronicle  Wednesday, March 5, 1997 


Richmond -- Two City Council members demanded yesterday that a self-inspection program at the Chevron Corp. refinery be discontinued and outside safety monitors be brought in. 

Chevron has conducted its self- inspection program under a measure approved by the council in 1987. 

In a news conference yesterday, Councilman Tom Butt and Councilwoman Donna Powers harshly criticized the program and said they want to reform it or repeal the measure that permitted it. The two provided no specifics on what changes they wish to make. 

Butt also claimed to have documents listing $15 million in violations at the refinery. He said the report was compiled by a man who worked briefly as a deputy building inspector and then was laid off because of his report. 

Chevron spokesman Hal Holt said the accusations are ``absolutely ludicrous and ridiculous.'' He said Chevron would not tolerate any conditions that would endanger its employees or the neighboring community. 

Holt also said the man was laid off because the firm was downsizing, not because of his report. According to Holt, the critic's description of the report was exaggerated.