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Chevron Fined over Refinery Fire

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(SAN FRANCISCO) -- California state regulators have handed a record fine to Chevron for a fire at a large refinery.

It was early August when the Chevron plant in Richmond, Calif., east of San Francisco, caught fire. Smoke and gas sent thousands of people to hospitals complaining of breathing problems and eye irritation.

"Our investigators found willful violations in Chevron's response before, during and after the fire," Ellen Widess, head of Cal/OSHA, the state agency enforcing workplace safety, said, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Now California is fining Chevron $1 million dollars for these "willful violations," failing to inspect and replace corroded pipes and not following emergency procedures during the fire.

Chevron has already paid out $10 million in compensation, mostly to the hospitals, since the incident, the Chronicle reports.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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