2020 Environmental Real Estate IssuesThe U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced the largest Risk Management Plan (RMP) enforcement settlement in history. According to DOJ’s October 24, 2018 announcement, the settlement requires Chevron to upgrade its refineries, pay a $2.95 million civil penalty, and implement supplemental environmental projects (SEPs).

Alleged RMP Violations
The settlement stems from allegations Chevron violated Section 112(r) of the Clean Air Act, which requires implementing a systematic RMP and meeting a general duty of care in designing and maintaining facilities.

Upgrades Estimated at $150 Million, SEPs at $10 million
Under the settlement, Chevron will spend approximately $150 million to:

  • replace vulnerable pipes;
  • institute operating parameters and alarms;
  • improve corrosion inspections and training;
  • centralize corporate safety authority;
  • study safety controls for fired heaters; and
  • conduct other safety improvements at all domestic Chevron refineries.

Chevron will implement SEPs, worth a total of at least $10 million, in communities surrounding Chevron’s refineries in California, Mississippi, Utah, and Hawaii.

Explosion, Fires, and Rupture Prompted EPA Investigation
EPA began investigating Chevron’s RMP compliance following an August 6, 2012 fire at Chevron’s Richmond, CA refinery.  EPA expanded the investigation after a 2013 explosion and fire at Chevron’s Pascagoula, MS refinery and a 2013 rupture that caused loss of power at Chevron’s El Segundo, CA refinery.

The DOJ settlement is in addition to relief already obtained by the State of California, Contra Costa County, and the California Department of Industrial Relations, Occupational Safety and Health Division related to the Richmond fire.

For a copy of DOJ’s announcement https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/justice-department-epa-state-mississippi-reach-nationwide-settlement-chevron-usa-inc-address