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Associated Press: Chevron refinery’s flares still polluting, report says

RICHMOND, Calif. A new report says the Chevron refinery in Richmond is the only refinery in the Bay Area to show an increase in a procedure called flaring since new clean air rules went in effect nearly two years ago.

In June of 2005 the new rules were put in place requiring a cutback in the number of flaring episodes at refineries.

But according to a report prepared by an environmental group, since the stricter regulations went into effect the number of flaring episodes at the Chevron plant increased by 80 percent, when compared to the 18 months before they were in effect.

In contrast, the Royal Dutch Shell refinery in Martinez reduced flaring by 74 percent after the law was passed. Other refineries in the area also reduced flaring by significant amounts.

Flaring is used by refinery operators to burn off excess gases, but it also leaves behind pollutants and smells that can harm the health of those who live nearby.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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