Significant flaring seen at Chevron Refinery

Significant flaring seen at Chevron Refinery
Flames and smoke can be seen coming from Chevron late Monday afternoon. Photos/Linda Hemmila

Last update: November 27, 2023 9:10 pm

Flaring activity at Chevron's Richmond Refinery has now stopped, according to spokesperson Caitlin Powell. "Our workforce is still working to safely recover operations impacted from the earlier loss of power. While we hope to avoid it, intermittent flaring is a possibility as we continue to make operational adjustments," Powell said.

Updated November 27, 2023, 6:15 pm

A power outage caused a significant amount of flaring at the Chevron refinery Monday afternoon, producing visible flames and a large plume of smoke, which can be seen from many parts of the city.

According to Chevron spokesperson Caitlin Powell, this is a level one (the lowest level) incident, and there is currently no threat to the community.

Chevron released a statement to the community to alert them to the ongoing situation.

"Chevron is experiencing flaring activity due to a loss of power to a portion of the facility. Our employees are working quickly to minimize and stop the flaring. A Community Warning System (CWS) Level 1 has been issued due to the visibility of the flare and associated smoke.  A CWS Level 1 requires no action by the public. Flares are highly regulated safety devices and are an important part of keeping the Refinery running safely. We encourage our neighbors to visit to view real-time air quality data."

In a post on social media, County Supervisor John Gioa said, "After speaking with both Contra Costa Health Haz Mat and the Chevron Richmond Refinery, I have been informed there is significant flaring at the refinery. It is not a fire. The flaring is due to an electrical substation issue at the refinery. Bay Area Air Quality Management District and County Hazmat personnel are on site to investigate."

Just before 6 pm Monday night, Chevron posted an update to social media.

Chevron Richmond refinery fenceline monitoring system readings from 6 pm Monday night.

According to Contra Costa Health, their Hazmat Team is on-site and has not detected any impact on air quality at this time.

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