Petroleum coke dust released at Martinez refinery, health officials said

Petroleum coke dust was released by the Martinez Refining Company at its refinery Friday morning but Contra Costa Health investigators have not found any visible impacts to the surrounding community. The county health department issued an alert at about 11:30 a.m. on social media about the release of the coke dust.

The release has since stopped. The county’s hazardous materials team responded and did not find any visible coke dust in the surrounding area.

The Martinez Refining Company notified the county health department that the release “was an isolated incident related to maintenance at the facility,” CCH officials wrote on social media.

The refinery in July previously reported the release of coke dust, a byproduct of the petroleum refining process, that collected on cars, garbage cans and other surfaces in the neighborhoods around the refinery. Laboratory analysis of the dust found it didn’t contain high levels of toxic metals, CCH officials said.

The Martinez Refining Company faced scrutiny from the county after releasing tons of spent catalyst last November but not reporting it promptly to the county, whose investigators found out about the release days later from media reports.

Copyright © 2023 Bay City News, Inc.

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