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Consumer Watch Asks Legislature to Better Protect Public From Evergreen Oil

A letter was issued to state senators asking for "for an examination of the years-long failure of the Department of Toxic Substances Control to protect communities from dangerous industries."

A Newark refinery was identified by Consumer Watchdog as an example of a "dangerous industry" that the group says the state Department of Toxic Substances Control has failed to efficiently supervise for the sake of public health and safety concerns.

The press release issued by PR News Wire states:

In a letter to state senators, Consumer Watchdog called for an examination of the years-long failure of the Department of Toxic Substances Control to protect communities from dangerous industries near homes and schools. Senators have an opportunity to ask questions about these problems at today's Rules Committee confirmation hearing for Gov. Jerry Brown's appointee to head the Department of Toxic Substances Control.

The refinery listed within the letter is . Located at 6880 Smith Ave., Evergreen Oil is located 0.6 miles from and 2 miles away from .

In the letter to state senators, Consumer Watchdog states:

This company has been cited repeatedly for cracked and inadequate waste storage areas, failure to track contaminated petroleum waste both coming in and going out, careless soil contamination and careless omissions in its own inspection system. Yet it was fined less than $45,000 (correction: $60,000) under six separate consent agreements with DTSC between 2006 and 2011. A burst pipe that spewed hot waste oil and an ensuing large blaze that endangered employees and the neighborhood shut down much of the facility last year. The facility has partially reopened, even though the operating portion lacks final local permits.

representatives did not issue a comment on the report Wednesday night.

The letter goes on to state that the Department of Toxic Substances Control’s key problems are lack of transparency, disconnection between inspection and enforcement, weak out-of-court settlements and a “corruption of process” at the local level.

Click here to read the full press release. See the attached PDF to read the letter from Consumer Watchdog.

Last month, Alameda County fire personnel, including a hazardous materials team, attended to a smoking barrel at , an Alameda County fire battalion chief said.

In March 2011, ainjured one employee. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health has previously fined the company for 19 health and safety violations. for 19 health and safety violations uncovered during an investigation of a February 2007 complaint.

Debbie Willis April 12, 2012 at 05:38 PM
I praise Consumer Watchdog for sending a letter to California State Senators. The letter asked for "for an examination of the years-long failure of the Department of Toxic Substances Control to protect communities from dangerous industries." I live less than one mile from the Evergreen site. Last year I contacted the Newark City Council, Evergreen, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA representative told me to call whenever I experienced a problem. I did. I, also, called Evergreen as suggested. It happened to be a Sunday, so the EPA representative contacted me on Monday. On Sunday, an Evergreen representative came by to tell me that after he checked with site personnel, he believed that the smell did not come from Evergreen (the Evergreen representative may have had a vested interest). After that I smelled the bad odor several times, all before 8:00 AM, when representatives were unavailable. Knowing that the representatives would be unavailable to collaborate my claims, I gave up. This passing the buck behavior is appalling. I do hope the California State Senators will take action.
John Perkins April 16, 2012 at 03:34 PM
Why doesn't the city take action? Mayor? “corruption of process” at the local level" What is the city doing to test Outdoor Air Quality and ground testing in this area is what I'd first ask the city council. Why wait for an event that endangers the health of local citizens when there's something that can be done proactively?
declectic April 16, 2012 at 04:59 PM
Good questions, John. Just what I was wondering. I wonder if events have already endangered the health of local citizens.

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