California bill: Abate hazards during appeals
Sacramento, CA – Reacting to a Chevron refinery fire last year that resulted in thousands of people seeking medical attention after breathing toxic emissions, a California lawmaker has introduced legislation to require abatement of unsafe conditions during any appeals process.
In January, the state’s occupational safety and health program – known as Cal/OSHA – cited Chevron with a record $1 million in penalties for 25 workplace violations in connection with the refinery fire. Presently, employers cited by Cal/OSHA do not have to immediately abate violations until after the appeals process is exhausted. The legislation (A.B. 1165) would require unsafe conditions to be corrected in a "timely" manner, according to a press release.
Assemblymember Nancy Skinner (D) introduced the bill Feb. 22, stating in the press release that it would help improve worker and public safety while violations are being appealed.
A second bill (SB 691) spurred by the Chevron fire was introduced Feb. 22 that, if passed, would increase the civil penalties that companies must pay for violating air quality regulations.