Published on Tuesday, August 6, 2013 by Democracy Now!
It was one year ago when a massive fire at a Chevron refinery in Richmond, California, sent toxic smoke billowing into the air about 10 miles northeast of San Francisco. In the aftermath, more than 15,000 people sought medical treatment for respiratory problems.
On Monday, Chevron pleaded no contest to six criminal charges related to the fire and agreed to submit to additional oversight over the next few years and pay $2 million in fines and restitution as part of a plea deal with state and county prosecutors. Two days earlier, thousands of people marched to condemn safety issues at Chevron’s plant and to call for renewable alternatives to fossil fuels.
“The community of Richmond does not deserve and will not stand for these kinds of toxic releases that impact our health and safety and also impact the sustainability of our planet,” says Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin. Last week, the Richmond City Council voted to file suit against Chevron, citing “a continuation of years of neglect, lax oversight and corporate indifference to necessary safety inspection and repairs.”
© 2013 Democracy Now!