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Mon Jan 22 2007 Contra Costa County Residents and Chevron to Discuss Response to Refinery Fire
On Monday, January 15th, there was a fire at the Chevron refinery in Richmond. Richmond residents in the immediate vicinity of Chevron refinery were outraged by the lack of warning about the accident-- there were no audible sirens or warnings via the telephone system that broadcasts information in in English and otherlanguages. According the Contra Costa Health Department, the telephone warning system was only activated in Point Richmond because of the wind direction. On Wednesday January 24th, Contra Costa County will be sponsoring a meeting in Point Richmond in regards to the fire, at 7pm at the Washington Elementary School, 565 Wine Street (near Cutting Blvd).

Jackie Saephan is a Laotian member of the Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN) who lives 8 blocks from the Chevron refinery. Saephan said, "Monday morning, we didn't hear anything at all, and at 6am, my parents left the house. Monday and Tuesday, I was feeling dizzy and nauseous, but didn't know until Tuesday night when APEN called me that there was an accident... Hundreds of APEN's members fought for a Laotian language multilingual warning system for accidents like these, but we didn't even get notified in English or by a siren!"

The Contra Costa Health Department has admitted that the sirens are not loud enough to be heard by people sleeping in their homes, particularly with their windows closed. "Companies like Chevron can't continue to make money at the expense of our lives," said Mimi Ho, Program Director of APEN.

Coverage of Dec. 2006 "Richmond and the Philippines" protest | Communities for a Better Environment | Asian Pacific Environmental Network

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