California City Sues Chevron Over Refinery Fire

August 6, 2013

Richmond is suing Chevron for damages from a massive fire that shut down the energy giant’s refinery at the San Francisco Bay area city last year.

A lawsuit filed in Contra Costa County Superior Court Friday alleges the crude-oil pipeline leak that led to the Aug. 6 fire was the result of “years of neglect, lax oversight and corporate indifference to necessary safety inspection and repairs.”

The city is seeking unspecified damages, including compensation for emergency response to the fire, environmental cleanup and loss of property values.

Chevron said in a statement that the lawsuit had no merit.

Both Chevron and government investigations have determined that corrosion in a pipe caused a leak that sparked the fire, sending a plume of black smoke over nearby areas.

Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin said the City Council voted to sue after months of negotiations with Chevron failed to reach an agreement.

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