I would attribute the Richmond, CA refinery fire to negligence on the part of Chevron. They didn’t even tell the people of the city for 3 hours after the explosion that the air was poisoned. Only later did they tell people in the city to close their doors and windows and stay inside. Well over 1000 people in Richmond and neighboring cities were treated in hospitals, that doesn’t take into account those who simply pulled out their inhalers to self medicate their long standing asthma.
The Northern part of the Bay Area starts with Richmond, and touches on smaller towns to the north and then flows seamlessly into the southern municipalities of El Cerrito, Albany, Berkeley on down to Emeryville and Oakland. I couldn’t smell it, but I know those who suffered from their asthma.
I just got a flyer at the OWS anniversary in SF, that a branch of Occupy is calling for Operation Chevron Shutdown on Oct 30. After summer trainings, I expect the younger Occupiers are ready to try out some new techniques. I’ll probably go to it and see how it goes.