Flaring at Richmond refinery triggers alert Monday afternoon

RICHMOND – A large plume of black smoke was visible for miles in the Bay Area on Monday afternoon after flaring was reported at the Chevron refinery in Richmond.

The flaring activity, which happened over a period of roughly five hours, was triggered by a loss of power to a portion of the facility, Chevron said in a social media post.

“Our workforce is still working to safely recover operations impacted from the earlier loss of power,” Chevron said. “While we hope to avoid it, intermittent flaring is a possibility as we continue to make operational adjustments.”

A Community Warning System, or CWS, Level 1 was issued due to the visibility of the flaring. A CWS Level 1 requires no action by the public, according to Chevron.

Chevron notified Contra Costa Health of the flaring around 3:45 p.m., said CCH spokesman Karl Fischer.

“We know that smoke is visible in the community around the refinery,” Fischer said.

Contra Costa Health dispatched a hazardous materials team to the refinery at 841 Chevron Way. As of 6:05 p.m., the team was at the facility and monitoring the activity, the agency said in a social media post.

“Air monitoring does not show any public health impact at this time,” the agency said.


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