Demand Chevron Protect Community from Hazardous Air Pollution

Target: Chevron Richmond Refinery Manager Nigel Hearne

Goal: Protect the surrounding community by installing a ground level air monitoring system to detect hazardous air pollution.

Around 6:30 PM on August 6th, a fire started at the Number 4 Crude Oil Refinery in Richmond California. The fire resulted in more than 1700 emergency room visits for respiratory problems, vomiting, and headaches. An explosion caused a 4,000-foot high black plume of smoke that covered the Bay Area; it was filled with sulfur, particulate matter and more toxins. Luckily, only two minor injuries were reported from the explosion. It took 100 fire fighters five hours to contain the fire. The Crude Unit remains temporarily shut down, but other unaffected parts of the refinery remain in operation. The incident has caused slower production of transportation fuels and will result in higher gas prices for California.

In 2010, Chevron agreed to install a real-time ground level air-monitoring system that could detect hazardous air pollution for the communities near the refinery. However, it seems that a monitoring system was never installed. It also seems that the warning system they have in place has many faults including spotty alerts, silent sirens and tardy phone calls. Many people would have had more warning to save themselves from the air pollution that sent them to hospitals if Chevron had put more effort into its warning system. Sign the petition to demand that a better air-monitoring and warning system be installed to prevent future accidents and injuries.


Dear Mr. Hearne,

As you already know, many people were affected by the accidental fire in the Richmond refinery. I am writing to you to ask that you install an effective air-monitoring system that will detect hazardous air pollution for the communities near your refinery. The lack of concern on your company’s part is shameful. Compensation beyond reimbursing for medical costs is needed.

Please show the communities around your refinery respect and install a proper warning system in case anything like this is to ever happen again.


[Your Name Here]

photo credit: Luciferwildcat via wikimedia commons

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