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The City of Richmond has the responsibility for issuing construction permits for the repair of the Chevron Refinery crude unit in accordance with applicable building and fire codes. As you may know, during the plan check process for the issuance of such construction permits, staff concluded, after extensive consultation with technical experts, that there needed to be a more detailed risk analysis before a definitive conclusion could be reached regarding the choice of pipe material in applying these codes. There are several options in the code for pipe material that must be evaluated by permitting officials.
At its meeting of December 4th, the City Council stressed the importance of transparency in the permitting process, and directed staff to conduct a public meeting to provide information on the factors leading to a decision concerning pipe material before permits were granted for damaged process piping. This meeting has now been scheduled as follows:
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Richmond City Council Chambers
440 Civic Center Plaza
Richmond, California 94804
To move the permit process forward, but with the primary interest of public safety, staff initiated the following process:
As part of their permit application, Chevron was asked to prepare a detailed, risk analysis regarding the selection of pipe material for the repair. This analysis was provided to the City on Wednesday, December 12th and is attached to this e-mail. (Material Selection for Repair of Damaged Process Piping in High-Temperature Sulfidation Service in the No. 4 Crude Unit). Since Thursday, December 13th, the report has also been available at www.ci.richmond.ca.us/chevronrefineryfire2012.
- The Chevron analysis has been submitted to the City’s metallurgical consultant, Mr. Jim McLaughlin, for evaluation. Mr. McLaughlin expects to provide a written summary of his evaluation by the end of the day on Monday, December 17th. We will advise you as soon as possible after we receive this evaluation.
- All agencies that have been working on the investigation of the August 6th refinery fire are being specifically contacted to ask for their review of the pipe material selection. These agencies include Contra Costa County, the Chemical Safety Board, Cal-OSHA, Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
- The City has also retained Mr. David Hendrix, a metallurgical engineering consultant, to provide a peer review of the analyses.
Until all this work is completed, City staff has determined not to issue building permits for portions of the repair for damaged process piping in high-temperature sulfidation service in the No. 4 Crude Unit.
The City of Richmond will continue to provide material as it becomes available. Please also check the City’s website at www.ci.richmond.ca.us/chevronrefineryfire2012.