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Environmentalists Accuse Chevron of Polluting Bay

September 16, 1998

An environmental group has accused the Chevron oil refinery of pouring 1.8 million pounds of toxic waste into Santa Monica Bay over five years.

Using a national database of industrial discharges, representatives of the Sacramento-based California Public Interest Research Group said Chevron's waste water plant poured toxic chemicals, including carcinogens, into the bay from 1992 to 1996.

A refinery spokesman said the group's report is misleading.

"We have some materials that are potentially toxic, but they are released in such a way that they do not pose a risk to the environment," said company spokesman Rod Spackman. "For example, nitrates are potentially hazardous in freshwater but inert in saltwater."

The refinery discharges more than 5 million gallons of treated waste water into the bay each day and potential toxins in the waste water are minimal, he said.

The environmental group urged state legislators to endorse the Clean Water Enforcement and Pollution Act, which passed the Assembly earlier this year but was stalled in the Senate.

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