February 2, 2023

MARTINEZ — Members of the Hazardous Supplies Staff from Contra Costa’s well being division investigated reviews of a flare at an oil refinery Thursday night time.

In line with a social media submit at 9:30 p.m., an account related to Contra Costa Well being Companies stated the group is responding to those reviews to the refinery, 3485 Pacheco Blvd., and can present updates as they be taught extra. A follow-up report about half an hour later states that the flaring has ceased and that the air space monitoring knowledge confirmed no indicators of an instantaneous public well being hazard.

In an emailed assertion Thursday night time, a spokesman for the Martinez Refining Firm stated “an influence outage tonight” induced “a quick flare on the refinery,” including that operations had been in any other case steady and that the reason for the facility outage was underneath investigation. .

“We apologize for affecting a few of our neighbors and thank our workers who responded safely,” the refinery stated in a press release.

“Fakers are an integral a part of the refinery’s built-in engineering security methods. Flares are designed to securely handle extra flamable gases by burning them effectively and successfully.”

The county’s public alert system, obtainable at cwsalerts.com, was not activated Thursday night time to alert residents to any fast harmful circumstances. The system was activated on December 9 after a earlier episode of flaring attributable to a compressor failure drew first responders to the refinery web site. Well being Division air monitoring assessments later confirmed that residents didn’t have to shelter in place in response to this episode.

The refinery has come underneath elevated scrutiny from county officers and division workers as a consequence of a number of latest incidents of flaring and the discharge of greater than 20 tons of hazardous metallic mud into the air over a six-hour interval that started round 9:30 p.m. on Thanksgiving. night time.

The incidents prompted metropolis officers to affix county officers on the neighborhood city corridor on Monday. On Tuesday and Wednesday, Division of Well being inspection reviews and pattern knowledge reviews had been posted on the Hazardous Supplies Division web page at cchealth.org/hazmat.

The refinery has referred residents to its helpline at (925) 313-3777 or (925) 313-3601 after enterprise hours.

Contact George Kelly at 408-859-5180.

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