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Fighting for Environmental Justice in Richmond, CA

The City of Richmond, home to a Chevron refinery and tank farm, is already burdened by intense pollution caused by the fossil fuel industry.

The City of Richmond in California's Bay Area is already burdened by intense pollution caused by the fossil fuel industry.

Chris Jordan-Bloch / Earthjustice

What's at Stake

Earthjustice took on an important Bay Area environmental justice battle in Richmond, CA, challenging Chevron’s proposed refinery expansion plan that would have boosted local pollution and yielded a massive increase in greenhouse gas emissions.

Case Overview

Richmond, CA is home to a Chevron refinery that has been wreaking havoc on the local community for decades and was the largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the state. The City of Richmond is a community that has long borne a disproportionate share of environmental hazards from the Refinery and other sources. People of color comprise the majority of the population in the fourteen neighborhoods surrounding the City’s industrial.

In 2008, Chevron proposed to expand its operation to include refining dirty crude, thus increasing its emission of dangerous pollutants. The environmental impact report that the city issued, however, failed to analyze the switch to dirty crude or to consider adequately an increase in greenhouse gas emissions.

Earthjustice represented three environmental justice groups and challenged the impact statement, which a lower court judge found illegal, whose opinion was upheld by a state court of appeal. The court halted the expansion until and unless the City of Richmond produces an environmental study that fixes all the flaws in the 2008 report.

This case is now closed. Learn about recent Earthjustice litigation on air quality issues in the Clean Air focus area.

Case ID

1802

Attorneys

Case Updates

June 8, 2009 | Legal Document

Chevron Refinery Decision

On June 4th 2009, Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge Barbara Zuniga tossed out the Environmental Impact Report for a major expansion at the Chevron Refinery, in Richmond, California.