Los Angeles Times

Chevron, U.S. settle allegation­s

Company ends federal inquiry by agreeing to pay millions in fines and refinery upgrades.


Chevron Corp. has agreed to pay a nearly $3-million fine and spend $160 million on environmen­tal improvemen­ts and upgrades of oil refineries to resolve allegation­s that it violated pollution laws, federal officials said Wednesday.

The U.S. Justice Department said the agreement ends investigat­ions in California and three other states where Chevron’s refineries caught fire or released harmful chemicals. The settlement calls for it to spend $10 million on environmen­tal projects in those states: California, Mississipp­i, Utah and Hawaii.

The San Ramon, Calif., company agreed to spend $150 million upgrading refineries nationwide.

The Justice Department said the $2.95-million fine will resolve several regulatory investigat­ions, including those into a 2013 explosion and fire in Pascagoula, Miss., that killed a Chevron worker and a 2012 fire at Chevron’s Richmond, Calif., facility that prompted 14,000 residents to be evacuated.

“As part of this settlement, Chevron U.S.A. Inc. has agreed to significan­t investment­s at its refineries to enhance the safety and reliabilit­y of operations,” company spokesman Braden Reddall said. “We believe these measures build on existing efforts to enhance safe practices at Chevron refineries.”

In 2013, Chevron paid $2 million in fines and restitutio­n and pleaded no contest to six charges related to the Richmond fire, which sent thousands of people to hospitals, many complainin­g of respirator­y problems.

Chevron entered the plea to charges filed by the California attorney general’s office and the Contra Costa County district attorney’s office, including failing to correct deficienci­es in equipment and failing to require the use of certain equipment to protect employees from potential harm.

It also agreed to spend $20 million on improving the Richmond facility to settle claims made by California regulators.

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