A series of explosions at the Chevron oil refinery in Richmond, California, produced fires that spewed enormous plumes of smoke into the region’s skies for several hours on Monday, August 6.
The Filipino American Coalition for Environmental Solidarity is relieved that the disaster led to no loss of life. However FACES condemns Chevron corporation for its negligence and inability to provide adequate warning to local residents.
This disaster is unfortunately not out-of-the-ordinary for the multi-billion dollar trans-national corporation. Previous fires have occured multiple times at the Richmond refinery once in 1999 and again in 2007. Communities all over the world also face the disastrous health impacts of living on the fence-line of Chevron’s operations.
This month marks the two-year anniversary of the discovery of a massive pipeline leak underneath the West Tower Condominiums in the Bangkal neighborhood, Makati City, Philippines. The leak was detected in a pipeline utilized by Chevron to transport fuel to its Manila oil depots. The West Tower condominium is still unfit for occupancy and remediation has been inadequate, as more than 1 million liters of fuel remain in the ground.
This week’s disaster and Chevron’s continued hazardous practices showcase the corporation’s willingness to prioritize profits over the livelihood and health of communities. FACES joins Richmond residents and allies in holding Chevron accountable for the unacceptable health risks their operations pose.
FACES calls Chevron to fully disclose and remediate the causes of the refinery fire, compensate community members for health costs associated with the fire, and end the corporation’s hazardous operations in Richmond, Manila, and fence-line communities all over the world.