Chevron agrees to pay $2M for Calif refinery fire

RICHMOND, Calif. (AP) — Chevron has agreed to pay $2 million in fines and restitution and pleaded no contest to six charges in connection with a fire at its refinery in the San Francisco Bay Area city of Richmond.

Chevron entered the plea on Monday to charges filed by the California Attorney General's Office and the Contra Costa District Attorney's Office, including failing to correct deficiencies in equipment and failing to require the use of certain equipment to protect employees from potential harm.

The Aug. 6, 2012, fire sent thousands of people to the hospital, many complaining of respiratory problems. Investigators blamed it on a corroded pipe.

Chevron spokeswoman Melissa Ritchie confirmed the agreement with prosecutors. She says the company is committed to improving safety at the refinery.

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