Chevron Corp. reportedly considered replacing a corroded Richmond refinery pipe nearly a year ago but decided it was good for another five years of service.
The 8-inch pipe leaked last week and its contents ignited into a massive blaze that sent choking smoke into Richmond neighborhoods. Thousands of residents arrived at hospitals with complaints of eye irritation and breathing difficulty.
The San Francisco Chronicle (bit.ly/P9S8HH) is reporting Tuesday that Chevron officials examined the line that failed and a larger companion line linked to it in October.
The newspaper says inspectors determined the pipe that failed may need to be replaced. Instead, it was cleared for five more years of service.
Federal and state officials are investigating the Aug. 6 leak and fire.