The Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office and California Department of Fish and Wildlife on Friday announced a settlement with Chevron over a leak at the oil giant's Richmond Refinery Marine Terminal last year that spilled hundreds of gallons of a diesel water mixture into the Bay.
On Feb. 9, 2021, a small hole in a pipeline leaked up to 757 gallons of the diesel water mixture into the water south of the Richmond Long Wharf.
No oiled wildlife or public health impacts were reported in the days following the spill, but an oil sheen could be seen from Point Molate to Brooks Island, according to the spill's Unified Command that included Chevron, the state wildlife agency's Office of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR), Contra Costa Health Services and the U.S. Coast Guard.
The settlement announced Friday includes more than $130,000 Chevron is paying to OSPR, civil penalties totaling $70,000 to be paid to two environmental/wildlife funds, $2,500 to the Coast Guard, and costs for additional staff training and new equipment installation, according to Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office spokesperson Ted Asregadoo.
Under the terms of the settlement, Chevron will have to implement a more comprehensive pipeline inspection program, pilot a leak detection system, and do a detailed review of its existing systems, prosecutors said.
"Corporations must be held strictly liable for any discharges of diesel into San Francisco Bay," District Attorney Diana Becton said in a statement. "Chevron was cooperative with the investigation and agreed to specific provisions that will enhance their ability to prevent and mitigate the unauthorized release of diesel in the future."
State Department of Fish and Wildlife deputy director and chief of law enforcement David Bess said, "The judgment will help prevent the reoccurrence of another diesel spill from this facility and reinforces our commitment to keeping California's coastline pristine."
Chevron officials were not immediately available to comment on the settlement.