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.

Click here to learn more about the Task Force.

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).

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.

Public Meetings

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