Chevron Richmond Refinery Modernization Project passes draft EIR

Chevron USA’s Richmond Refinery Modernization Project will protect the environment, enhance safety, reduce energy use and create 1,000 new local construction jobs as described in the City of Richmond’s draft environmental impact report (EIR), which was published last week.

The publication of the EIR, which was prepared by third-party consultants hired by the City of Richmond, marks a major milestone in Chevron’s efforts to create a newer, safer, cleaner refinery.

aerial view of petroleum, oil, refining, industryThe $1 billion investment in its Richmond Refinery Modernization Project will replace some of the refinery’s oldest processing equipment with modern technology that is inherently safer and meets the nation’s toughest air quality standards. The Richmond Refinery Modernization Project also underscores Chevron’s commitment to reducing emissions overall and ensuring that there is no net increase in greenhouse gas emissions and criteria air pollutants.

As part of modernization, the refinery will invest $30 million over 10 years in the City of Richmond and North Richmond to lower greenhouse gas emissions and create local green jobs.

The Richmond Refinery Modernization Project replaces the existing 1960s hydrogen plant with modern technology that is inherently safer, cleaner and 20 percent more energy efficient. Modernization also provides the refinery with the flexibility to process crude oil blends and gas oils containing higher levels of sulfur, while meeting safety and environmental standards.

Modernization adds significant regulatory oversight through independent inspections, increased monitoring of equipment and new reporting requirements to regulatory agencies – including the City of Richmond and Contra Costa County – to help ensure refinery processing units are operating safely. According to the Richmond Refinery Modernization Project guidelines, the refinery will hold annual town halls with its workforce and local residents to verify that Chevron Richmond Refinery is meeting the safety obligations outlined in the EIR.

The EIR confirms that modernization does not change the basic operation or throughput processing capacity of the refinery. The EIR shows that modernization is not about refining Canadian tar sands or heavy crude, and it will not allow the refinery to receive crude oil by rail or pipeline.

Both the refinery and the city will provide multiple opportunities for the public to ask questions, find out more details and share opinions about modernization at meetings throughout the city.

The environmental review process set up by the Richmond Refinery Modernization Project specifies at least a 45-day public comment period. Details about how to participate are available on the City of Richmond’s modernization website, A final decision on modernization is expected this summer.

Chevron says it is confident that residents who take the time to understand the EIR will see how modernization benefits the entire Richmond community.

To learn more about how Richmond Refinery Modernization Project will benefit the community or to ask questions, visit

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