[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 249 (Friday, December 27, 2013)]
[Pages 78811-78812]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-31156]



Sunshine Act Meeting

TIME AND DATE: January 15, 2014, 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. PST.

PLACE: City Council Chambers, Civic Center Campus, 440 Civic Center 
Plaza, Richmond, CA 94804.

STATUS: Open to the public.

Matters To Be Considered The Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation 
Board (CSB) will convene a public meeting on January 15, 2014, starting 
at 6:30 p.m. at the City Council Chambers, Civic Center Campus, 440 
Civic Center Plaza, Richmond, CA 94804. At the public meeting, the 
Board will consider and vote on the draft regulatory report of the 
August 6, 2012, fire at the Chevron refinery that endangered 19 workers 
and sent more than 15,000 residents to the hospital for medical 
    At the meeting, CSB staff will present to the Board the results of 
the second of three reports in the CSB's investigation of this 
incident. Subject to a vote by the board at the January 15 public 
meeting, the draft regulatory report would recommend that California 
``Develop and implement a step-by-step plan to establish a more 
rigorous safety management regulatory framework for petroleum 
refineries in the state of California based on the principles of the 
`safety case' framework in use in regulatory regimes such as those in 
the UK, Australia, and Norway.'' The recommendation urges specific 
steps to accomplish this, including ensuring that workers are formally 
involved in the development of a safety case report for each covered 
facility. The report also urges California to work with industry in 
gathering refinery safety indicator data to be shared with the public.
    As detailed in the CSB draft report, a safety case regime which 
would require companies to demonstrate to refinery industry 
regulators--through a written ``safety case report''--how major hazards 
are to be controlled and risks reduced to ``as low as reasonably 
practicable,'' or ALARP. The CSB report notes that the safety case is 
more than a written document; rather, it represents a fundamental 
change by shifting the responsibility for continuous reductions in 
major accident risks from regulators to the company.
    To ensure that a facility's safety goals and programs are 
accomplished, a safety case report generated by the company is 
rigorously reviewed, audited, and enforced by highly trained regulatory 
inspectors, whose technical training and experience are on par with the 
personnel employed by the companies they oversee, the draft report 
    The CSB's first interim report--which was voted on and approved by 
the board at a public meeting in Richmond, CA, on April 19, 2013--found 
that Chevron repeatedly failed over a ten-year period to apply 
inherently safer design principles and upgrade piping in its crude oil 
processing unit, which was extremely corroded and ultimately ruptured 
on August 6, 2012. The CSB's investigation identified missed 
opportunities on the part of Chevron to apply inherently safer piping 
design through the use of more corrosion-resistant metal alloys. The 
first interim report also found a failure by Chevron to identify and 
evaluate damage mechanism hazards, which if acted upon, would likely 
have identified the possibility of a catastrophic sulfidation 
corrosion-related piping failure. There are currently no federal or 
state regulatory requirements to apply these important preventative 
measures. The investigation team concluded that enhanced regulatory 
oversight with greater worker involvement and public participation are 
needed to improve petroleum refinery safety.
    Following the staff presentation on proposed findings and safety 
recommendations, the Board will hear comments from the public.
    Following the conclusion of the public comment period, the Board 
will consider whether to approve the final report and recommendations. 
All staff presentations are preliminary and are intended solely to 
allow the Board to consider in a public forum the issues and factors 
involved in this case. No factual analyses, conclusions, or findings 
presented by staff should be considered final.
    Only after the Board has considered the staff presentations, 
listened to public comments, and adopted a final investigation report 
and recommendations will there be an approved final record of the CSB 
investigation of this incident.

Additional Information

    The meeting is free and open to the public. If you require a 
translator or interpreter, please notify the individual listed below as 
the ``Contact Person for Further Information,'' at least five business 
days prior to the meeting.
    The CSB is an independent federal agency charged with investigating 
accidents and hazards that result, or may result, in the catastrophic 
release of extremely hazardous substances. The agency's Board Members 
are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. CSB 
investigations look into all aspects of chemical accidents and hazards, 
including physical causes such as equipment failure as well as 
inadequacies in regulations, industry standards, and safety management 

Public Comment

    Members of the public are invited to make brief statements to the 
Board at the conclusion of the staff presentation. The time provided 
for public statements will depend upon the number of people who wish to 
speak. Speakers should assume that their presentations will be limited 
to five minutes or less, and may submit written statements for the 

[[Page 78812]]

Contact Person for Further Information

    Hillary J. Cohen, Communications Manager, [email protected] or 
(202) 446-8094. General information about the CSB can be found on the 
agency Web site at: www.csb.gov.

    Dated: December 23, 2013.
Rafael Moure-Eraso,
[FR Doc. 2013-31156 Filed 12-24-13; 11:15 am]