Richmond • Rodeo • Martinez • Pittsburg • Benicia
All members of the Bay Area Refinery Corridor Coalition (BARCC)
We are all in this together!
PITTSBURG – WESPAC
For 10 years, the massive PG and E tanks sat unused. Then… life happened. Hundreds of lovely homeswere built adjacent to the tanks. The downtown flourished and came back to life. Unbeknownst to the residents who lived along side the empty PG and E tanks (whichare connected to all the refineries by underground pipelines), the tanks were apparently on the radar screen of the oil infrastructure companyWesPac. The tanks sit between Pittsburg’s deep water port and rail road tracks. What better spot to bring in explosive dirty crude?
RICHMOND – CHEVRON
In 2012, the largest refinery in Northern California exploded. It was the same old story…and the same old recipe for disaster: worker cutbacks, deferred maintenance and aging pipes held together with clamps (the refinery’s go-to solution akin to duct tape). A shelter in placewas issued,BART closed down and 11,000 civilians sought medical attention.
MARTINEZ – SHELL & TESORO
The city of Martinez is home to not one, but two refineries – Shell and Tesoro. In 2013 Tesoro’s executive Greg Goff announced that the Martinez refinery would be bringing in 350,000 barrels per month of volatile Bakken crude.
Thanks to KPIX Channel 5’s intrepid reporter Christin Ayers, our community learned that Bakken oil was being unloaded from the Kinder Morgan rail yard and brought by tanker truck (presumably along Highway 4!) to the Tesoro refinery in Martinez. Our friends at Natural Resources Defense Council, Communities for a Better Environment, Asian Pacific Environmental Network and the Sierra Club have filed a lawsuit to try and stop this extremely dangerous practice.
Tesoro also has a spotty history of compliance with environmental regulators – after two workers were sprayed with sulfuric acid and sent to the hospital, Tesoro refused to let in the U.S. Chemical Safety Board inspectors because the refinery claimed it was a “minor” incident. The Chemical Safety Board said that no refinery had refused them entry in the entire history of the agency. When regulators finally entered the site, they found that the refinery had lied; the incident was in fact a major one involving 84,000 pounds of sulfuric acid!
Because there was no grassroots refinery watchdog or environmental health group organized in Martinez, the Martinez Environmental Group was created by residents in March 2014. This group is working on delta water issues and is also fighting to prevent the destruction of 500+ beautiful old oak trees on Alhambra Hills land that belonged to John Muir.