Remember this? Because I sure do.


That was an Aug. 6 fire at a 110-year-old Chevron refinery in Richmond, Calif. Those outrageous, toxic plumes sent more than 15,000 people to area hospitals complaining of eye and respiratory issues. In the aftermath, it was revealed that Chevron hadn’t installed air monitoring stations it had agreed to set up in 2010 and that it was bypassing existing monitoring equipment.

A month ago, the Richmond City Council unanimously adopted a resolution asking that Chevron adopt “the highest standards and best technology” to prevent future disasters and cut standard pollution in an area where residents are plagued by chronic asthma thanks to particulate pollutants. But the city’s Planning Department told Chevron it could do whatever it wants, which is exactly what the oil giant is doing: replacing broken parts, but not upgrading anything. From The San Francisco Chronicle: