Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Thursday, August 23, 2012
By Julie Caine
A Chevron’s refinery in Richmond, California burst into flames earlier this month. Reportedly, workers discovered that an old pipe, potentially in operation since the 1970s, was leaking. After about two hours, they removed the insulation unit while the pipe was still processing crude, causing the explosion. Five workers were treated for minor injuries, but the Chemical Safety Board has called the accident a “near disaster” for refinery personnel. A "shelter in place" warning was issued for the community because of potential toxins in the air. And more than 11,000 residents went to the emergency room complaining of health problems.
Investigations into the cause of the fire are ongoing. But, inspectors need access to the site of the explosion, which is still considered too dangerous. Robert Rogers, the Richmond reporter for the Bay Area News Group, has been following the story. He spoke with KALW’s Holly Kernan about the fallout of the fire.
Friday, August 10, 2012
By Julie Caine
The night after an explosion and fire at a Chevron refinery sent plumes of thick black smoke out across one of the Bay Area's poorest communities, local residents were already scrambling to ensure they will get compensated for potential impacts to their health.
Chevron has an official claims process, but many local Richmond residents filed into the office of a local attorney instead. KALW's Julie Caine stopped by to talk to the people in line.
Listen to them here:
NICHOLAS HANEY: We are having a lot of people come in, we haven't sorted it all out yet. I'm having people fill out forms... We need to figure out where people were, where they live, where they were at the time of the fire, and, so we don't have all the answers yet. Chevron, I hope they step up to the plate and do the right thing. They have a lot of people in this town that got sick due to their negligence.
NOTE: Chevron Corporation issued the following information for people seeking to file medical claims:
"Chevron will open a help center in Richmond on Friday, August 10, to assist residents who want to file claims related to the incident that occurred at the refinery this week."
Nevin Community Center
598 Nevin Ave.
Hours of operation:
9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday - Friday
8 a.m. to 12 p.m., Saturday
Those wishing to file a claim by phone should call 866-260-7881. Live operators are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Residents who have already filed a claim by phone do not need to visit the help center.
We have reports that individuals may be calling members of the community about making claims. These are not Chevron representatives. There are only two ways a claim can be filed: by calling 866-260-7881 or or by visiting the help center at 598 Nevin Ave.
The claims process has been set up through Crawford and Company. We intend to compensate our neighbors for medical and property expenses incurred as a result of the incident.
Those who call the claim line will be asked a series of questions about their claim, which will then be routed to adjusters. Adjusters are attempting to respond to all claims within three days. Chevron will strive to pay appropriate and reasonable claims, including out-of-pocket medical and property-damage expenses.
Thursday, August 09, 2012
By Julie Caine
The smoke from the Chevron refinery fire that started late Monday in Richmond, California has cleared -- but the controversy was still hot at a community meeting Tuesday night. Around 700 people attended the meeting in Richmond, where local government and health officials, as well as the refinery's general manager, faced frustration and anger.
Joan Davis from the Richmond Community Foundation began the meeting with a request: “Those of you who are feeling afraid, very quietly, stand. Those of you who are feeling angry, please stand, quietly.”
Almost everyone in the hall got to their feet.
They sat down again to hear from Nigel Hearne, the Chevron refinery's general manager. “I take personal and full responsibility for the incident that occurred last night. I'm really here to respect you, and to hear, listen about your concerns this evening," said Hearne.
Applause and boos were shouted, and a long line of people waiting to speak on a microphone formed down the center aisle. They talked about everything from illness and contamination from the fire, to racism and economic inequality in the community.
“I didn't get a phone call. I did not hear the sirens until 7 o’clock. You need to fix your system,” one community member said.
Another took the floor to say, “Them white people ain't thinking about y'all. Because why? A lot of y'all are black. So what? Let them die. They need to set up a clinic. They need to examine everybody out here. They need to find out the extent of the sickness of people in this community."
Yolanda Jones, a member of the community, expressed her concern about access to information. “I want to make sure that everybody in this room, including the people who could not get here, have access to fill out the form – not just on a computer, so that people who don't have a computer cannot fill it out. So people who don't have a house phone cannot know what to do,” she said.
Charles Hawthorne, who lives about ten miles from the refinery, left the meeting early in frustration. “Nothing's getting done,” he said. “People are shouting over each other, and they've turned it into their own political forum. To me, this was a big waste of time. They should have had more people to control the chaos."
An investigation into the causes of the fire is underway, headed by the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Chevron officials say they will cover expenses for health problems, property damage, and municipal costs associated with the fire.
TN MOVING STORIES: U.S. Automakers End 2011 With Big Gains, Cold Weather Cracks DC Rails, St. Paul Businesses Get Rail Construction Relief
Thursday, January 05, 2012
By Kate Hinds
Top stories on TN:
New York Governor Cuomo Proposes $15 Billion Infrastructure Plan (Link)
In Cuomo’s Speech, No Mention of the Word “Transit” (Link)
NY MTA Contract Talks With Transit Workers Union Delayed (Link)
New Jerseyans on Toll Hikes: We Don’t Care Why They’re Being Raised, We Just Care That We Have To Spend More Money (Link)
This Traffic Light Senses Bikes, Promotes Road Harmony (Link)
New South Florida Rail Connection to Miami International Airport Almost Done (Link)
Jay Walder, the former head of New York's MTA, says at a press conference in Hong Kong that NYC's "assets were not renewed and the infrastructures were in terrible condition." (The Standard)
He also said he put the city's transit agency on "firm financial footing." (New York Times)
Gibson Crutcher Dunn -- the law firm that sued New York City over a Brooklyn bike lane -- is also defending Chevron in Ecuador, which was slapped with an $18 billion fine for environmental damage. (New Yorker; subscription; update)
JFK airport security workers make $8 an hour, and get neither get sick days nor health insurance. (Village Voice)
US DOT head Ray LaHood is touting the FAA's 2011 accomplishments. (Fast Lane)
Facing complaints about light-rail construction disrupting St. Paul businesses, the government will spend $1.2 million on a marketing campaign to entice shoppers to visit the beleaguered area (Minneapolis Star Tribune). (Note: for more on the Central Corridor construction, listen to the TN documentary "Back of the Bus.")
This week's sudden drop in temperature cracked rails on DC's Metro. (Washington Post)
West Windsor, NJ, is now a transit village. (The Times/NJ.com)
Maryland's department of planning created a smart growth web tool, GamePlanMaryland. "Choose...the direction for our transportation program — more roads, more transit, what combination? Then click the mouse ... and see if the future you’ve plotted will achieve the priorities you established."
The Brian Lehrer Show kicks off a month-long look at the airline industry today. (WNYC)
NYC's former taxi commissioner weighs in on a the recent taxi deal to improve service for the disabled -- and says it's "well-intentioned...[but will] in all likelihood rarely be used by the target ridership." (New York Times)
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Humberto Piaguaje, leader of the Secoya people of the Ecuadorian Amazon, along with Mitch Anderson, Corporate Campaigns Director at Amazon Watch, talk about the Aguinda v. Chevron lawsuit and what Ecuadorian and U.S. judges have ruled about Chevron's involvement in clean-up efforts in the Ecuadorian Amazon.
TN Moving Stories: Boston's Pricey Cabs, BART Clears A San Jose Hurdle, and Privatizing The Tappan Zee?
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
By Kate Hinds
Radio Boston (WBUR) tries to figure out why that city's cabs are the most expensive in the nation.
The five-decade-long quest to bring BART to San Jose cleared a major hurdle yesterday, when the Federal Transit Administration recommended that it receive $130 million in federal funds this year -- clearing the way for construction to begin in 2012. (Mercury News)
A state commission charged with shoring up Maryland’s cash-strapped transportation improvement fund has proposed raising more than $800 million in increased fees -- and called on state leaders not to take money from the system to plug other holes in the budget. (Baltimore Business Journal)
The Takeaway talks to an economist who says that despite negative perceptions, cities make us better -- and happier.
It's too expensive to maintain New York's Tappan Zee Bridge. It's too expensive to replace it. So politicians are looking at how private companies might provide a solution. (Wall Street Journal)
NY City Council Speaker Christine Quinn will propose changes to parking rules in her State of the City speech today. (WNYC)
An Ecuardorean judge fined Chevron $9 billion in a decade-long pollution case. (Marketplace)
The FAA said that U.S. airline-passenger numbers will reach 1 billion in fiscal 2021 -- two years sooner than projected -- because of improved economic growth. (Washington Post)
The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee kicked off their reauthorization field hearings/public listening sessions in West Virginia, where some attendees wanted to talk about raising the gas tax. (Charleston Gazette)
Virginia Senator Mark Warner said that Governor Bob McDonnell's plan to pump nearly $3 billion in the state's roads over three years is not "fiscally conservative" and will not solve the state's transportation problems. (Washington Post)
Follow Transportation Nation on Twitter.
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Twenty years ago, the Amazon River in Ecuador was heavily contaminated after chemical-laden wastewater was dumped into it. The effects on the surrounding population were devastating: illness, death, and economic loss. Chevron Corp., the U.S.'s second largest oil company, is the alleged culprits, and the company may have to pay at least $8 billion to repair damages after a ruling yesterday. In a statement, Chevron reacted, saying "The Ecuadorian court's jumdgment is illegitimate and unenforceable. It is the product of fraud and is contrary to the legitimate scientific evidence. Chevron will appeal this decision in Ecuador and intends to see that justice prevails."
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Chiefs from the five major oil companies, including BP, testified before Congress yesterday. Executives from Chevron, Conoco, Exxon Mobile, and Shell all took pains to distance themselves from BP's negligence during testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee. “We would not have drilled the well the way they did," said Rex Tillerson, chief executive of Exxon Mobile.