Jan 28,2015– The US Chemical Safety Board (CSB) has unanimously approved the draft accident investigation report regarding the pipeline rupture and subsequent fire at Chevron’s Richmond, CA refinery. We had reported via the post here, that the draft report was ready and awaiting comments and objections from the public.
Apparently there was none and the report was approved.
The entire report can be downloaded here.
To summarize, the accident showed that refineries had very little controls in place to detect and correct corrosion in pipelines that takes place due to sulfur content of the crude. This is sought to be corrected in the future, by using pipe material that has better corrosion resistance to sulfur in crude and also by inspecting and actively replacing piping that does not meet the current specs, or is old and has reduced thickness.
Following this incident, Chevron improved its internal policies by developing and implementing a leak response protocol for determining how to assess and mitigate leaks within the refinery.