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Shell Martinez Praised

Merliza Alcala, Staff Engineer

Shell Martinez Praised for Environmental Standards and Community Outreach

All of the calls, whether related to the refinery or not, are logged, so the auditors were quite impressed with the relationship we have with the community.

Merliza Alcala, Staff Engineer

The Shell Martinez Refinery won praise from a team of auditors from the International Standards Organization for its community outreach efforts and environmental management programs in June. The refinery was recertified under a standard known as ISO 14001.

The Shell refinery, which first received the ISO 14001 certification in 2005, is the only one of five refineries in the Bay Area that has received the ISO 14001 certification, and the refinery flies the green flag that recognizes it in front of its main office building on Pacheco Boulevard.

In recommending the site for recertification, auditors pointed to the refinery’s communications team and Environmental Department. They noted that Shell Martinez has forged a tight bond with the community through a variety of methods, from social networks to the groundbreaking efforts of the Martinez Community Advisory Panel (CAP), which celebrated its 20th anniversary in early 2011.

“The auditors were impressed that we have a log of all the community calls that we receive,” said Merliza Alcala, a staff engineer who coordinated preparation for the four-day visit by three auditors. “All of the calls, whether related to the refinery or not, are logged, so the auditors were quite impressed with the relationship we have with the community.”

“We know our license to operate comes from the community,” said the refinery’s public affairs manager, Steve Lesher. “From the fenceline to Facebook, we are having an ongoing conversation with our community that is critical to our success as a business.

“I was very proud that the ISO auditors cited community communications as one of their highlights because it is an area where we have worked very hard,” Lesher continued.

The ISO auditors visited the entire refinery and spoke to more than 85 employees and contractors. Their review is designed to ensure that the environmental management policies and systems meet the required ISO 14001 standard.

A recent standard established at Martinez was described by auditors as “an excellent practice.” Under the guidelines of “Zero to 60 Incident Reporting,” the department involved must send out a communication about the incident in question within 60 minutes.

Auditors also singled out the site’s Wharf Pipeline Inspection Program, run by Martinez’s Pressure Equipment Integrity (PEI) group, and praised Operations for having designated Environmental Focal Points. The onsite recycling centre was deemed “noteworthy” by auditors for donating its proceeds back to the community.