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Officials say possible problem may have caused Richmond refinery flaring

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Officials say a possible problem or maintenance issue may have caused the flaring at the Chevron Richmond Refinery located at 525 Castro Street Thursday morning.

Officials say a possible problem or maintenance issue may have caused the flaring at the Chevron Richmond Refinery located at 525 Castro Street Thursday morning.

Contra Costa County Hazard Materials Specialist Nick Yumemoto told ABC7 News that the flaring is not causing black or white smoke and that is is considered a level 1. Yumemoto also said that there is no current threat to anyone's safety.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District dispatched inspectors to the Chevron refinery after they received at least two complaints about flaring.

It's not yet clear what events led to the flaring, but district personnel will be working with the refinery to determine exactly what occurred and how. "As a part of the flare minimization rule, the refinery will have to take steps to prevent flares like this from happening again," Flannigan said. "If a certain failure occurred, they'll have to come up with a plan to
prevent it in the future."

A Chevron Richmond Refinery spokesperson released a statement saying, "there has been some intermittent flaring at the Richmond refinery this morning. We apologize for any concern this has caused our neighbors. There is no shelter in place. Flares are a highly regulated safety device monitored by the air district used in the refineries. This is an isolated incident and the refinery continues to operate. If you have questions about air-quality, we encourage you to visit www.fenceline.org/richmond to you real time air quality data,"

And police took to Twitter saying, "they're monitoring airflow and no cause for concern at this time per Chevron."

The refinery issued a statement on Twitter around 8:45 a.m. calling the flaring process a "highly regulated" safety measure that is monitored by the air district.

ABC7 News contributed to this story.

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chevronhealthair qualityRichmond
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