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Apr 5, 2013 1:16 AM by Eric Ross

Chevron completes repairs at damaged refinery unit

RICHMOND, Calif. (AP) - Chevron Corp. says it has completed repairs at an area of its Richmond refinery that was damaged last year in a fire.

The Contra Costa Times reports that production will not begin in the repaired crude unit until final regulatory approvals are given, which could be by the end of June.

The refinery was damaged by the August fire that sent a towering plume of black smoke into the air. Thousands of nearby residents complained of respiratory issues after the blaze.

The company received a nearly $1 million fine from state workplace safety regulators, who said Chevron didn't heed its own scientists' advice to replace the old, corroded pipe that failed and caused the fire.

Sean Comey, a company spokesman, says the company is improving safety and oversight.

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