Judge: Chevron Must Halt Richmond, CA, Refinery Expansion

"A judge has ordered Chevron Corp. to stop work on its controversial oil refinery expansion in Richmond, handing environmentalists their biggest victory in a long fight over the project.

Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge Barbara Zuniga gave Chevron 60 days to wind up work on the project, which would have given the 107-year-old refinery greater flexibility to process different types of crude oil. Zuniga's orders, dated Wednesday, were released Thursday.

Her ruling doesn't kill the upgrade project outright. But before it could proceed, Chevron would need a new environmental impact report and a new permit from the Richmond City Council, which narrowly approved the project last year. Zuniga ruled last month that the original environmental report didn't answer key questions, siding with environmental and community groups that had sued to stop the expansion."

David R. Baker reports for the San Francisco Chronicle July 3, 2009.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle, 07/03/2009