California issues new recommendations to improve refinery worker safety

California recently released a draft report outlining measures to improve public and worker safety at and near the state’s petroleum refineries.

The report, titled Improving Public and Worker Safety at Oil Refineries, is a product of a 13-agency task group formed after the August 2012 fire at Chevron’s Contra Costa County refinery in Richmond, California.

The document calls for stricter oversight of oil and chemical facilities, strengthening of emergency preparedness programs, and other measures to better protect refinery workers and the public. 

The writers suggest creating by September 1 an interagency task force housed within the California Environmental Protection Agency to coordinate and implement the report's recommendations.

In a written statement, the chair of the US Chemical Safety Board (CSB) applauded the findings and recommendations, stating that the report represents an important step forward in improving oil refinery safety and environmental performance in California.

The full report can be read here.

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