Refinery Power Outage Prompts Health Warning - NBC Bay Area

Refinery Power Outage Prompts Health Warning



    Refinery Power Outage Prompts Health Warning
    NBC Bay Area
    Tesoro refinery fire after a power outage.

    A power outage at Tesoro's Golden Eagle refinery in Martinez has caused excessive flaring at the refinery, prompting health officials to issue  a warning for communities downwind from the plant, Contra Costa County  Hazardous Materials Program Director Randy Sawyer said.

    The Contra Costa Hazardous Materials program received notification of the incident at 4:12 p.m., Sawyer said. There is also a shelter in place.

    Because of the power outage, the refinery had to shut down its equipment and relieve excess pressure on the flares. The result was large amounts of material to its flare, which is reportedly spewing clouds of black  smoke, Sawyer said.

    This year is the first time the refinery has had this problem in years but they have had several similar incidents in the past few weeks.

    The health services department is warning people who are  chemically sensitive or who have pre-existing conditions such as asthma or  emphysema to stay inside and close their windows.

    The refinery is located on the outskirts of Martinez near North  Concord, Sawyer said, but because of wind conditions, most of the smoke is  expected to move toward Clyde and Bay Point.