The Contra Costa Health Services HazMat responded to the release of dust from Martinez Refining Company Tuesday morning. Material from the release is visible on the ground in surrounding neighborhoods.
Contra Costa Health Services advises the public to avoid breathing or close contact with the material.
Martinez Refining Company reported through the Community Warning System that the released material was coke dust, a byproduct of the refining process. CCH is collecting samples for lab analysis.
At 11:04 am, the Bay Area Air Quality Control District issued the following statement:
The Air District is closely monitoring a petroleum coke release at MRC Refinery in Martinez. Inspectors investigating & responding to complaints, documenting any air quality violations & assisting first responders. Follow instructions from health officials. Check back for updates
At 12:53 pm, the Martinez Refining Company issued the following statement:
This morning the refinery experienced a brief release of Coke dust. We have issued a Community Warning System Level 1 notification, and our refinery personnel are conducting community monitoring. We have also notified appropriate agencies and apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused our neighbors.
If you have a claim or concern related to this morning’s release of Coke dust, or would like to speak with a company representative, please call our claims representative at 800-542-7113 and leave the following information:
3:30 PM UPDATE: Contra Costa Health Responding to Coke Dust Release at Martinez Refining Company
Contra Costa Health’s (CCH) Hazardous Materials program is investigating a hazardous materials release from the Martinez Refining Company (MRC) Tuesday morning.
MRC reported through the Community Warning System (CWS) that the released material was coke dust, a byproduct of the petroleum refining process.
The release left the material on the ground, parked cars, and other surfaces in the surrounding neighborhoods. CCH’s Hazardous Materials team is working to assess potential health impacts.
Wipe samples are being taken and will be sent to a lab for analysis. Results are expected by the end of the week. CCH will provide updates after the results are reviewed.
Coke dust is black and looks like soot. Use soap and water to clean impacted outdoor surfaces.
MRC notified CCH of the release around 10:20 a.m. through the CWS. MRC reported the release took place around 8:30 a.m. and lasted approximately one minute.
“We are very concerned about the delayed notification to the Community Warning System. We are once again responding to a refinery incident and trying to determine the health impacts,” said Contra Costa County Supervisor Federal Glover. “We understand this is an ongoing concern for our community and timely notification is critical.”
CCH requested a 72-hour report about the incident, which will be posted to cchealth.org.
It hasn’t been a kind few months for residents in the City of Martinez as they have had to deal with flaring, hazardous materials on local soils and a mercury spill.
Here is a recap:
- June 8: Risk Assessment Finds Martinez Refinery Release Did Not Increase Risk of Exposure to Hazardous Metals in Local Soils
- May 17: Health Advisory Lifted After Weeklong Mercury Cleanup in Martinez
- May 4 – Soil Sampling Being Done Around Martinez Refinery to Assess Health Risks
- March 7 – Health Department Safety Advice on Gardening to Residents who Live Near Martinez Refinery
- Feb 24 – County Offers Gardening Tip After Spent Catalyst Possibly Made Way into Martinez Soil
- Jan 5 – Health Department Asks DA to Pursue Legal Action Against Martinez Refining Company
- Dec 31, 2022 – Martinez Refining Company Says Maintenance Work Could Result in Flaring
- Dec 23, 2022 – Martinez Refining Company Statement on Thursday Flaring
- Dec 19, 2022 – Martinez Announces Town Hall Meeting to Discuss Martinez Refining Company Incidents
- Dec 14, 2022 – Contra Costa Health Recommends an Independent Investigation of Martinez Refinery Release
- Dec 9, 2022 – Flaring Friday Night at the Martinez Refining Company
- Nov 30, 2022 – Hazardous Materials Release at Martinez Oil Refinery Contained Heavy Metals
- Nov 29, 2022 – Test Show White Dust Released in Martinez Was “Spent Catalyst”
- Nov 28, 2022 – Ash-Like Substance Being Investigated in Martinez, Company Offers Free Car Wash