Chevron U.S.A. has reached a settlement with the federal government to resolve charges associated with a string of serious accidents, including a Mississippi refinery explosion that killed a worker nearly five years ago.
Chevron Must Spend Millions to Upgrade U.S. Refineries
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the deal requires Chevron to spend $150 million on safety improvements and upgrades at refineries throughout the United States.
Among other things, the company will institute new operating parameters and alarms for safer operations, improve piping inspections, and improve inspection training.
Chevron has also committed $10 million to implement environmental projects near refineries in several states.
First responders in Mississippi’s Jackson County, for example, have been allocated $2.8 million, while the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality will receive $300,000.
Poor Training a Factor in Fatal Mississippi Refinery Explosion
Jackson County, Mississippi is home to Chevron’s Pascagoula refinery, one of three facilities at the center of the EPA settlement.
The Pascagoula refinery came under scrutiny in November 2013, after an explosion and fire in a cracking unit killed a 46-year-old employee.
Apparently, the refinery had experienced a widespread power outage just prior to the explosion, triggering an emergency shutdown.
Among other things, federal investigators determined that Chevron’s failure to properly train employees on emergency shutdown protocols contributed to the deadly blast.
Worker Dies in Fall at Chevron Pascagoula Refinery
Unfortunately, the 2013 explosion was not the last time a worker would die at Chevron’s Pascagoula refinery.
In fact, a week before the EPA announced the Chevron settlement, a contract worker fell to his death inside the refinery’s processing unit.
The U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration continues to investigate Chevron’s most recent tragedy. So far, however, it’s not clear what caused the contractor to fall.
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