For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 

Eddie Scher, 415-977-5758

Sierra Club Statement on Chevron Refinery Fire

WASHINGTON - Yesterday at 6:15 PT explosions and a massive fire at Chevron’s Richmond, CA, oil refinery released a plume of black smoke over the region.

Sierra Club Director, Environmental Justice and Community Partnerships Director Leslie Fields Released the Following Statement in Response:

“Yesterday residents of four California cities—Richmond, North Richmond, San Pablo and El Cerrito—were told by emergency officials to shelter-in-place, close doors and seal windows to avoid toxic smoke from the massive Chevron refinery fire. Fortunately, there were only minor injuries at the site. However, area hospitals reported at least 350 visits for respiratory problems and vomiting.

“No one should have to live downwind of a dangerous oil refinery. Our thoughts are with the families living near the Chevron facility who must now contend with the aftermath and long-term health consequences of breathing in smoke filled with dangerous particulate matter, soot and cancer-causing toxins like sulfur compounds. These explosions and the massive toxic cloud hanging over their community and homes are only a part of the pattern of operation at Chevron’s Richmond facility, and Chevron should be held to account.”


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The Sierra Club is the oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization in the United States. It was founded on May 28, 1892 in San Francisco, California by the well-known conservationist and preservationist John Muir, who became its first president. The Sierra Club has hundreds of thousands of members in chapters located throughout the US, and is affiliated with Sierra Club Canada.

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