County Extends Comment Period
November 24, 2003
Responding to concerns by West Contra Costs County residents, the county health department is extending the public comment period for required safety plans submitted by two industrial facilities.
Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) is extending the deadline of when it will accept public comments on the plans until January 2. The California Accidental Release Prevention (CalARP) Program requires facilities with regulated chemicals to submit a Risk Management Plan (RMP). Richmond's Industrial Safety Ordinance (RISO) requires regulated facilities to submit a Safety Plan.
The RMP and Safety Plan for the Chevron Richmond Refinery and the General Chemical Richmond facility have been completed. A forty-five day public comment period for the plans began October 10 and was scheduled to end on November 24. Few comments were received until this weekend, when an article in the West County Times attracted considerable interest from local residents.
"A number of residents have contacted us and asked for more time," says William Walker, MD, Director of Health Services. "We want to be sure the community has ample time to review the materials, so we’re going to extend the deadline."
Walker says CCHS staff have been making public presentations about the plan for the past few months, including one last week in North Richmond.
The RMP and Safety Plan may be reviewed at the Contra Costa Health Services Hazardous Materials Programs Office at 4333 Pacheco Boulevard in Martinez. (Call 925-646-2286 for an appointment) or at the Richmond Civic Center Plaza library. Written comments, postmarked no later than January 5, 2004, may be sent via email at ARPTeam@hsd.cccounty.us or to Randy Sawyer, Contra Costa Health Services, 4333 Pacheco Boulevard, Martinez, CA 94553.
The Risk Management Plan gives an assessment of the potential hazards a facility may present, the prevention programs in place at the facility, the facility's emergency response program, and the management systems in place to implement the overall program. The Safety Plan expands on the RMP and covers all of the processes at the facility and expands the requirements of select prevention programs. The prevention programs include but are not limited to training of operators, maintenance, operating procedures, contractor safety, incident investigation and process hazard analyses.
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