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Friday, August 10, 2012

THE BAY AREA AIR QUALITY MANAGEMENT DISTRICT SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF ITSELF - LINKED TO THE RICHMOND - CHEVRON FIRE AND FIASCO.

It is simply shocking - each and every time - when some dangerous episode takes place - a toxic fire, some large bombardment of Asbestos dust, thousands of tons of particulates spewing in the air - an excess of Methane Gas - the Bay Area Air Quality Management  District (BAAQMD) - takes a very conservative attitude.

Each and every time fails the constituents - who the BAAQMD must protect - but always sides with the large, corrupt Corporations and entities - in this case CHEVRON.

The first time around on Monday, August 7, 2012 around 3 pm and then again around the same time on Wednesday, August 8, 2012 - toxic fires with large plumes - polluting a large area.

We in San Francisco could see the large clouds of dark grey smoke - over the Oakland hills. Reminiscent of the Oakland Hill fires - that is what came to my mind - when I saw the large dark clouds of smoke.

Thirty minutes later reports started coming in - and I have many friends that live in Richmond - and the reports were not good. Too many people had not been warned on time - and many had inhaled the toxic smoke and very experiencing burning sensation in their throats and eyes, headaches, and giddiness and so forth.

On both occasions the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) - was bold to say that the air pollution as a result of the two Richmond fires - linked with the Chevron Petroleum Plant - did not exceed any toxic standards.

In fact Notice of Violations should have been issued - this is not the first time that the BAAQMD - and looked the other side - with Chevron and its on going ploys and machinations.

Further, the BAAQMD stated that the smoke rose high - and because of the winds - was so diluted - that there was nothing to worry about. Such tales do not bode well with people - who are educated on issues - and the BAAQMD must from hence forth be very careful - not to open its mouth and shove its dirty foot in.

The matter of fact is that independent testing proved the matter to be worse - and far exceeded the normal reading - on many toxic elements, general contamination - toxic particulates in particular - that polluted the air.

The Safety Control in place at Chevron - were pathetic - and the next time around - Chevron should invest in State of the Art equipment at its own expense. 

People in the hundreds complained  - with burning eyes and unending flowing tears, sore throats, difficulty in breathing, severe headaches, giddiness and so on.

The Press Releases and the Press Conference by Richmond Chevron Spokesman - kept saying - most everything is fine and under control - and that the contamination - was not something to be concerned about.

That soon some experts would be flown in and that most everything would be under control. The matter of fact when the second fire took place - we all found out very soon - that Chevron did not know and does not yet full understand - that is it putting thousands of innocent people in harms way. 

Such vague statements - belies good judgement - and when buffoons rule the day - thousands of people can be adversely impacted and that is uncalled for. This issues is very, very serious.

Chevron has a horrible track record all over the world - you just have to Google to find out - their horrible track record in Nigeria, in Brazil, in other places - where they promise you the world - and treat the local population with disdain. Now they are committing the same crimes - right in their won back year - and that too on their 100 anniversary of these doomed - Chevron Petroleum Refining plant -manufacturing all sorts of by products.

Chevron failed on that Monday - the first time the fire started to inform the people and trigger the automatic warning system. Chevron had the audacity to wait for hours - this is NOT acceptable.

Richmond Environmental Advocates are well organized in the Richmond area - and have already take precautions and put measures in place - to make the hundreds of victims - whole. This initial efforts speaks volumes - now we have to establish the protocol linked to testing and who will pay for them - quickly.

The important factor to note - is for Chevron to release the amount of toxic pollutants -  most record by private entities at very high levels.

Chevron must release the results and made available on the Internet - so that the public at large can review them and make sense of them.

The same from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District - the BAAQMD also has its own monitors - and we must test their system - if it works and these results  must be released to the public at large.

This is an opportunity to take Chevron to task - on behalf of thousands of people that Chevron has taken for a ride - not only in Richmond but all over the world.

The Occupational Health and Safety Agency, the District Attorney of Richmond and the State of California - Attorney General, the other State and Federal Regulatory Agencies, the Environmental Protection Agency, BAAQMD - have all been bought and hoodwinked by Chevron in the past.

This is an opportunity - for all these agencies to study this fiasco - and put stringent measures in place - to protect all human and other life.

This is the opportunity to set some high standards - and use the Precautionary Principle as a guiding principal - to encompass the adverse impact on all life - human, animal, and other life.

Chevron makes billions of dollars in profit every single year.

Chevron has been warned before - when toxic fumes have been released in the air - and Chevron has been very, very slow to inform the Richmond community at large.

This time Chevron was caught with its hand in the cookie jar - two times - the first time on Monday and then again on Wednesday, August 8, 2012.

The many public and private laboratories nearby can easily aid the community - Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, University of California Berkeley, other astute Laboratories - this is the golden opportunity - for the world to understand what truly happens when such horrid accidents happen,

The neighboring constituents fall prey to such actions - resulting from disdain and a nonchalant attitude of entities such as Chevron that has been a very bad neighbor -  always aiming to make more money and care less for all life.

Hydrocarbons, dangerous particulates large and small all harm life - methane and other toxic gases in large quantities were released - and we the people want the empirical data.

We want to send a strong message to Chevron that you are a Rouge Company - as much as you say - you have taken precautionary measures - you have not.

And while you can afford to dole out some millions to the City of Richmond - you make profits in the Billions - with headquarters in El Paso, Texas.

My connection with Richmond and the horrid conditions in many areas linked to contamination, toxic hot spots, and pollution goes back 35 years. Environmentalists from Richmond - would give me tours - reminding me of the same conditions here in the Bayview Hunters Point.

Many a time the Richmond environmentalists and the Bayview Hunters Point environmentalist have joined hands and fought the Bay Area Air Quality Management District - on issues linked to asthma, other respiratory diseases, cancer, high levels of particulates, other issues linked to Quality of Life issues.

These meetings held on Ellis Street in San Francisco by Van Ness Avenue.

Chevron must set aside a fund - $10 million dollars minimum to test all those that were victims of this horrible situation on two days - that fateful Monday, August 6 and then again on Wednesday, August 8, 2012.

We have fully realized we cannot let these crooks - off the hook.
The sooner the test are done - blood, urine, other essential tests the better. Let Chevron pay for the doctors, the nurses, the laboratory tests - the more tests conducted and available for evaluation the better.

We must focus on the children, the women, the elders for sure - let Chevron - may be for the first time perform its civic duty - more on its hundred anniversary - where God - revealed to the world what Chevron really stands for.

These two incidents should not be taken lightly - Chevron has all the means and will use millions - to pacify and nullify all its misdeeds. Use disinformation and misinformation - as it has been doing for years.

We must gather Empirical Data - and have independent studies quickly and force Chevron to pay for the tests - and set aside an account - that is available to conduct the tests and pay for the tests quickly. The neighboring Universities must join ranks with the people - this is your opportunity - to shown deep - solidarity.

The State Attorney General, the Governor, the Mayor of Richmond, the Regional Director of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Richmond Health Director, other State, Federal and local regulatory agencies must be notified now - and the best practices models - put in place.

Now is the time for the students from the Law Colleges, University of Berkerley, Mills College, other colleges to step up - and address this situation.

I will be doing what is possible with my contacts - we must show case these two incidents - and bring about some quick solutions - what is critical is that these incidents can be referred to in future - with lessons learned.

We cannot afford to give Chevron the benefit of the doubt. Too many times has Chevron been a very bad neighbor - Chevron has screwed us over - without any punitive measures - worth the salt - too many times.

Their time for full adjudication is - now.

African American in Richmond - taking a stand:

http://aaenvironment.blogspot.com/2012/08/chevron-refinery-fire-in-richmond.html

Mayor of Richmond - who belongs to the Green Party - take a firm stand linked to the Richmond, Chevron fires - and delves into the on going fiasco:

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/8/8/chevron_oil_refinery_fire_in_richmond