The suit alleges that BAAQMD engaged in "flagrant disregard" of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) when it initially granted and subsequently renewed an air permit to Chevron for construction of the Richmond project before a final environmental impact report (EIR) was made available for a public review and commentary period, according to CBE's filing in San Francisco Superior Court.
While the city of Richmond released a long-awaited revised draft EIR for the refinery modernization earlier this year showing substantive differences from a previous 2008 EIR for the project (OGJ Online, Mar. 19, 2014), BAAQMD has yet to consider these differences or, more importantly, consider a final EIR as required by CEQA, the petition said.
CBE also contends that the Richmond modernization project—which would increase greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 1 million tonnes/year—has yet to be reviewed under the heightened scrutiny of federal laws governing air permitting since BAAQMD last renewed the permit in 2012 (OGJ Online, July 3, 2012).
In addition to its request that the air permit be invalidated, CBE also has asked the court to direct BAAQMD to refrain from granting Chevron any further approvals to advance the Richmond modernization project until the company has fully complied with all applicable requirements under both state and federal law.
I think Chevron ought to just shut the plant down and tell CA to go screw themselves.