Issue Date: August 21, 2017 | Web Date: August 20, 2017
California tightens refinery regulations
California is requiring its 15 refineries to adopt comprehensive new requirements to improve safety for workers and communities around the facilities. Regulations that the state issued in early August call for refineries to adopt inherently safer designs and systems to the “greatest extent feasible” and increase employer responsibility for the safety of refinery equipment. Those rules require root-cause analysis when an incident results in a major accident or near miss. Erika Monterroza, spokesperson with the California Department of Industrial Relations, says the state created a broad task force made up of community members, workers, and industry, state, and local agencies to develop the regulations. The regulatory changes come after a 2012 accident at a refinery in Richmond, Calif., and one in 2015 in Torrance, Calif. Both facilities are located in densely populated areas. The two accidents resulted in detailed and controversial reports by the federal Chemical Safety & Hazard Investigation Board (CSB), and the new regulations incorporate many of CSB’s recommendations.
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