Baykeeper Update

Advocating for Stronger Controls on the Chevron Refinery

Baykeeper is advocating for more rigorous regulation of the Chevron Richmond Refinery's wastewater and storm water pollution.

Located on the Richmond shoreline, the Refinery has been in operation since 1902 and produces approximately 244,000 barrels of oil each day. It also produces about 6.6 million gallons of contaminated wastewater every day, which is treated on-site through a system that consists of oil and water separation, biological treatment, settling basins, a wetland and granular activated carbon filtration. The treated wastewater is then discharged into San Pablo Bay via a deepwater diffuser located 2,000 feet offshore.

The Refinery discharges its storm water runoff directly into San Francisco and San Pablo Bay from various points across the facility's grounds.

The San Francisco Regional Water Quality Control Board is in the process of re-issuing regulations for the Refinery's wastewater and storm water. Baykeeper submitted comments on the regulations, asking the Board to:

  • Analyze whether the Refinery’s storm water has the reasonable potential to exceed water quality standards;
  • Require the Refinery to test for priority pollutants at all storm water outfalls;
  • Omit exceptions that allow the Refinery’s wastewater and storm water to bypass the typical treatment processes;
  • Apply clear parameters to regulate discharges from the on-site wetland;
  • Adequately consider total PAHs discharged from the Refinery (PAHs, or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, are toxic pollutants produced as a result of burning fuel); and
  • Require the Refinery to submit a Contingency Plan and Spill Prevention Plan for annual public review.

The Board will discuss the proposed regulations for the Chevron Refinery at its meeting on July 13. We'll keep you informed.

Photo by Summer Bundy/Flickr