Refinery Blaze: BP Hit with Safety Fine

Tuesday, September 4, 2012 @ 06:09 PM gHale

The state of Washington fined BP more than $80,000 for safety violations at the oil giant’s Cherry Point refinery in Whatcom County.

The Department of Labor & Industries said it fined BP for six violations, including a “willful violation,” of workplace safety.

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The department began its investigation in February following a fire that caused enough damage to close the refinery for three months. No one was hurt in the blaze.

Investigators found the fire occurred when a corroded “deadleg” pipe ruptured. The department says deadlegs are pipes that don’t often see use, but still must undergo monitoring.

BP spokesman Scott Dean the company remains committed to safety. He said they have increased monitoring points along the new piping system and are exploring other changes.

BP Cherry Point is the third-largest refinery on the West Coast. It produces 20 percent of Washington’s gasoline needs.

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