State fines BP $81,500 for safety violations

SEATTLE — Washington state has 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 announced Thursday that it fined BP for six violations, including a “willful violation,” of workplace safety.

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 fire.

Investigators found that the fire occurred when a corroded “deadleg” pipe ruptured. The department says deadlegs are pipes that aren’t often used but still must be monitored.

BP spokesman Scott Dean the company is committed to safety. He say 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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