Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Environmentalists Claim Major Victory in Chevron Decision - KCBS June 8, 2009

RICHMOND, Calif. (KCBS) -- East Bay environmentalists are claiming a major victory in a battle with Chevron's Refinery in Richmond over its expansion plans.

A Contra Costa Superior Court judge has ruled that the environmental document covering Chevron's bid to replace equipment to refine a wider range of crude is insufficient and vague.

Chevron already has begun construction on its project, which replaces the hydrogen plant, power plant and reformer to refine a wider range of crude with higher sulfur content.

Listen KCBS' Dave Padilla reports

The West County Toxics Coalition of Richmond and Communities for a Better Environment and the Asian Pacific Environmental Network, both of Oakland, sued the city and Chevron in September. The groups have argued the project could increase pollution in the area and endanger locals.

"This is a huge victory for the environmental justice movement in terms of health of the community," said Jessica Tovar of Communities for a Better Environment. "Not just in Richmond but regionally."

Brent Tippen, spokesman for the refinery, says the report was through.

"Chevron is disappointed with the decision regarding the adequacy of the environmental review conducted by the city of Richmond related to the energy and hydrogen renewal project," Tippen said.

Tippen added officials at the refinery will review the decision to determine their next move.

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