Interagency Refinery Task Force
A fire at the Chevron refinery in Richmond in August 2012 raised public questions and concerns about refinery safety and emergency response in California. Following a directive from the Governor’s July 2013 report on “Improving Public and Worker Safety at Oil Refineries,” CalEPA formed an Interagency Task Force on Refinery Safety in August 2013. The Task Force membership includes ten state agencies, U.S. EPA, and local agencies from areas of the state that contain refineries. They will work collaboratively to achieve the highest possible level of safety for refinery workers and local communities, and prepare for and effectively respond to emergencies if they occur.
Regulatory Changes: Safety and Prevention
New regulations to strengthen workplace and environmental safety at oil refineries across the state were approved by the Office of Administrative Law in July and August 2017. The regulations implement key recommendations of the Governor’s Interagency Working Group on Refinery Safety, and are the result of a multi-year effort, including extensive public input and consultation with workers, industry, NGOs, local agencies, and communities. The regulations were developed by the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR), the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) and the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA).
- August 2017 – Final Approved Amendments to the California Accidental Release Prevention (CalARP) Program 4 Regulations for Petroleum Refineries
- July 2017 – Final Approved Process Safety Management Regulations for Petroleum Refineries
- Fact Sheet: Regulatory Changes to Improve Oil Refinery Safety
- Cost-Benefit Analysis of Proposed California Oil and Gas Refinery Regulations
- The Department of Industrial Relations commissioned this study to assess the impacts of the proposed California Process Safety Management and California Accidental Release Prevention safety and prevention amendments as part of the regulatory process. The costs and benefits are addressed in four categories: the costs to industry (to implement the regulation), the costs to society (pass-through of certain industry costs), benefits to industry, and benefits to society.
Proposed Regulatory Changes: Emergency Response
The California Office of Emergency Services is proposing additional regulatory amendments to implement recommendations of the Governor’s Interagency Working Group on Refinery Safety.
- May 2016 – Proposed Pre-Regulatory Amendments for CalARP Program 4 Refinery Emergency Preparedness & Response
- May 2016 – Proposed Area Plan Pre-Regulatory Amendments for Refinery Emergency Preparedness & Response
News: US EPA Issues New Rule
The US EPA issued a final rule with additional emission control requirements for storage tanks, flares and coking units at petroleum refineries. This final rule will significantly improve air quality in neighborhoods near petroleum refineries by further controlling toxics air emissions and requiring continuous fenceline monitoring of the toxic air pollutant benzene. Learn more