MARTINEZ — Hazardous-materials team members with Contra Costa’s health department were investigating reports of flaring at a refinery Thursday night.

According to a social-media post at 9:30 p.m., an account associated with Contra Costa Health Services said the team was responding to the refinery, 3485 Pacheco Blvd., for those reports and would provide updates as they learned more.

The county’s community warning system, available at cwsalerts.com, was not activated Thursday night to alert residents of any immediately dangerous conditions. The system was activated Dec. 9 after a previous flaring episode caused by a compressor failure drew first responders to the refinery site. Health department air-monitoring tests later found there was no need for residents to shelter in place in response to that episode.

The refinery has drawn increased scrutiny from county officials and department staff members for several recent flaring episodes, as well as the airborne release of more than 20 tons of hazardous metal-laden dust over a six-hour period that began around 9:30 p.m. Thanksgiving night.

These incidents led city officials to join county staff members in a community town hall Monday. On Tuesday and Wednesday, health department-compiled inspection reports and sampling data reports were posted to the department’s hazardous-materials page at cchealth.org/hazmat.

Refinery officials did not immediately return a call Thursday night seeking additional information about the flaring report.

Contact George Kelly at 408-859-5180.


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