SAN FRANCISCO -- Chevron’s Richmond refinery leaked approximately 600 gallons of a gasoline mixture into the San Francisco and San Pablo bays. The spill, which was discovered late Tuesday afternoon, is believed to have come from Chevron’s “long wharf” tanker terminal.
Environment California State Director Laura Deehan issued the following statement:
“The hundreds of gallons of oil that spilled into the San Francisco and San Pablo bays is an urgent reminder that oil and gasoline is dirty, dangerous and cannot be used without causing harm to our air, water and all living things.
“In particular, the impact on local wildlife will be felt for some time. The oil from the spill has already washed up onto Keller Beach and into the shoreline and saltwater lagoon of Miller-Knox Regional Shoreline. This area is home to vibrant birdlife, including the great blue heron and double-crested cormorant, which migrate up the Pacific Coast. The bay is also the habitat to myriad marine life, from fish that we eat, like flounder and perch, to seals, dolphins and whales. These will all be immediately threatened by this spill.
“Equally troubling is that the damage doesn’t just stop in the water. The spill will turn the surrounding air into a toxic soup, which, in turn, causes harm to those that breathe it. This is especially true to the most vulnerable among us, like children and those with respiratory conditions, such as asthma or COVID-impacted lungs.
“This spill is a clear reminder that harm from oil leaks persist for years. We cannot forget that no matter what stage in the process -- from extraction and refining to transportation and its use in cars -- oil is dirty and dangerous to both our climate and our ability to simply breathe freely every day..
“This Chevron spill underscores the urgent need for all Californians to embrace Gov. Newsom’s commitment to phase out the gasoline powered vehicle and accelerate our transition to 100 percent renewable energy. Ultimately, we need to keep fossil fuels in the ground, and while we still allow drilling, we must require stronger penalties when companies like Chevron allow a spill to take place.
Environment California works for clean air, clean water, clean energy, wildlife and open spaces, and a livable climate. Our members across the state put grassroots support behind our research and advocacy. Environment California is part of Environment America, a national network of 29 state environmental groups. Environment California is also part of The Public Interest Network, which operates and supports organizations committed to a shared vision of a better world and a strategic approach to social change.