Not Your Average Tourist Stop

One of the state's biggest polluters just invited you over for a playdate.

By Matt Baume
|  Wednesday, Sep 8, 2010  |  Updated 2:48 PM PDT
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Not Your Average Tourist Stop

AP

If you ever wanted to get up close and personal with a polluting oil refinery, now is your chance.

The Chevron Richmond Refinery has announced a "community tour" of its plant. Today's the last day to sign up at chevronrichmond.com or by calling (510) 242-2000.

According to the invite, "It’s important for us to have an open dialogue and an opportunity to engage with our neighbors." "By working together, we can harness the most powerful energy of all: Human Energy."

Chevron is currently attempting to conduct upgrades to its Richmond facility.

While a judge halted that construction, citing an inadequate analysis of environmental impacts.  Chevron officials say they are in mediation discussions at the request of state lawmakers to get the construction project back on track.  They say they are trying to upgrade the factility so that they can have better air emissions.

The refinery holds the distinction of being the third largest producer of toxic pollution in Northern California, according to the EPA.  The Chevron folks say they comply with all federal and state emission and pollution requirements.

If you're going on the tour, you might want to bring a hazmat suit.  Chevron officials say you won't need that of course, adding the entire tour takes place on a bus.

But don't bring a camera: they'll be strictly forbidden on the tour.

Matt Baume enjoys breathing.

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