Feds Press California Officials on Refinery Safety

A picture taken on November 5, 2012 shows a general view of the French oil giant Total refinery in Donges, near Nantes in western France. (National Journal)

An independent federal agency is urging California officials to beef up refinery safety in the wake of a major 2012 fire at a Chevron refinery there.

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board on Monday pushed California officials to require owners of crude-oil refineries to prove they can run their plants at the lowest possible risk, Reuters reports.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports on the board's call for a "dramatic safety overhaul" at refineries in California and around the nation.

The federal report noted that there has been almost no improvement in safety despite a string of accidents, including a fire at BP's Texas City refinery that killed 15 workers in 2005, the paper reports.