California’s occupational safety and environmental agencies have proposed a set of landmark regulations to strengthen workplace and environmental safety at oil refineries across the Golden State. Find out what’s involved and what regulations would be strengthened.
The regulatory proposal is intended to make California refineries safer for workers and for surrounding communities. The result of a multi-year effort that included extensive consultation with workers, industry, NGOs, and communities, it would implement key recommendations by a governor’s panel established in the wake of a serious chemical release and fire at Chevron’s Richmond oil refinery in August 2012.
It would implement new strategies to prevent major incidents at refineries and protect refinery workers and surrounding communities from exposure to health and safety risks. It includes two complementary regulations. One would overhaul Cal/OSHA process safety management (PSM) regulations as they apply to refineries, while the second would strengthen the California accidental release prevention (CalARP) program regulations, which are designed to prevent the accidental release of hazardous substances that could harm public health and the environment.