California's workplace safety regulators concluded their review of a Chevron oil refinery in the San Francisco Bay Area on Friday morning, clearing the way for the company to resume full production at the facility.
The Richmond, Calif., refinery had been running at 60 percent capacity since a fire erupted at the plant last August. The California Occupational Safety and Health program had previously issued an order barring use of the refinery's crude distillation unit — the heart of the plant — where the fire broke out.
Ellen Widess, chief at Cal/OSHA, told NBC Bay Area that Chevron has made changes to safety procedures in the wake of the disaster.
State regulators had strongly criticized Chevron for what they said were 25 examples of unsafe maintenance at the refinery and fined the company $1 million — the maximum amount allowable under law.
The company did not replace the corroded pipe that ruptured and caused the fire, and Chevron did not "follow its own emergency shutdown procedures" and did not protect workers, regulators found.
Chevron was pleased by the announcement and has previously said it planned to resume operations before the end of June.