Chevron to pay Richmond $5 million to settle 2012 refinery fire lawsuit

RICHMOND, Calif. (KGO) -- Chevron announced Thursday it will pay the city of Richmond $5 million to settle a lawsuit stemming from a refinery fire that sent thousands of residents to the hospital six years ago.

In August 2012 a pipe ruptured at the refinery, causing a fire that sent toxic black smoke into the air.

An agency investigating the refinery fire, found major problems with Chevron's safety measures.

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Chevron has been ordered to pay up for a 2012 refinery fire in Richmond.

The fire spewed a cloud of toxic smoke into the air that sent thousands to local hospitals complaining of breathing problems.

The settlement ends the lawsuit, but city officials said Chevron is not admitting fault for the fire.

Also, Chevron is not being forced to make any changes to the refinery.

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Officials said Richmond plans to use the money for a number infrastructure projects .

Chevron issued a statement saying, "Lawsuits and settlements do not spur actions to prevent incidents. We have been working on improvements for years. Since the fire, Chevron has worked to address the underlying issues identified in their investigation report, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board's findings, and the issues raised by CAL-OSHA, including completing 100 percent component inspection of carbon steel piping systems as potentially susceptible to sulfidation corrosion. We are proud of the progress we have made.

The settlement agreement ends the pending litigation over Chevron U.S.A.'s crude-unit fire in 2012. In support of the Richmond community, Chevron will pay the City $5 million, which the City will use in the areas of public safety, education, parks and recreation, and/or community and economic development. Chevron believes that the settlement is a fair resolution and looks forward to continuing a cooperative relationship. "
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