MARTINEZ, Calif. – A temporary power outage in part of the Martinez Shell Refinery Monday led to flaring, with possible health impacts to the community.
The outage occurred at approximately 1:30 p.m., after which the flare was activated to combust excess gas at the plant. The flare was visible from outside the refinery and was declared a Level 2 event. A Level 2 is called when the effects of the flare impact areas outside the refinery, and when there are possible health impacts at play.
“Other than reports of an odor and flaring, we have not received word of any offsite impacts,” the refinery reported via social media.
Contra Costa health officials did, however, issue a health advisory in the area. People with pre-existing conditions such as asthma were cautioned to stay indoors.
“For business and competitive reasons, we cannot discuss the specific unit involved or production levels,” the refinery stated.
Power was restored to all areas of the plant just before 2 p.m. The refinery is investigating the cause of the incident.