Contra Costa Health Services said Thursday it continues to look into the Nov. 24-25 release of heavy metals by Martinez Refining Company.
They say its possible spent catalyst made its way into soil and got absorbed by plants. They then recommend not eating those foods and to try growing plants in planters with new soil.
Next, Contra Costa Health Services directed residents to a document which has not been updated since January 11, 2023.
The county has since asked the District Attorney to pursue legal action against the Martinez Refining Company after the accidental release of “spent catalyst” from the refinery began around 9:30 p.m. on Nov. 24 (Thanksgiving Day) and continued into the early hours of Nov. 25, showering the surrounding community in the dust-like substance. Samples of the dust taken later showed it had elevated levels of aluminum and other metals, which could have potentially caused respiratory symptoms in people who breathed it. Prolonged exposure to these metals can lead to health concerns.
MRC did not report the release via the county’s Community Warning System or directly to CCH, as required by the county’s notification policy. CCH learned about the release from media accounts two days after it began. Had MRC followed the notification policy, the Community Warning System would have been activated to notify the community about the hazard at the time of the accident.
In a separate but related move in January, CCH is also recommending an independent investigation and risk assessment be done of the accidental release of spent catalyst from the refinery.
- Jan 5: Health Department Asks DA to Pursue Legal Action Against Martinez Refining Company
- Dec 31: Martinez Refining Company Says Maintenance Work Could Result in Flaring
- Dec. 23: Martinez Refining Company Statement on Thursday Flaring
- Dec. 19: Martinez Announces Town Hall Meeting to Discuss Martinez Refining Company Incidents
- Dec. 14: Contra Costa Health Recommends an Independent Investigation of Martinez Refinery Release
- Dec. 9: Flaring Friday Night at the Martinez Refining Company
- Nov 30: Hazardous Materials Release at Martinez Oil Refinery Contained Heavy Metals
- Nov 29: Test Show White Dust Released in Martinez Was “Spent Catalyst”