Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Overhaul approved for troubled California refinery

Well, the city voted for the plant upgrades.

But opponents say the project does too little to limit pollution and improve safety. Environmental groups and some residents say Richmond bears the brunt of toxic releases by the refinery complex. Richmond has poverty levels nearly twice those of the U.S. and California as a whole, and Chevron's taxes make up about a third of the city's budget.

Two council members, including Mayor Gayle McLaughlin, abstained from the final vote, according to the Contra Costa Times.

McLaughlin called on Chevron's Judd to do more to reduce emissions. Judd said the company already was going well beyond legal requirements.

The Chevron refinery was built before the pollution-curbing requirements of the federal government's 1970s Clean Air Act.

Chevron still must get a county court to lift a judgment halting a previous version of the project before construction can begin, the Times reported.

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