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Press Release

Chevron to Submit Report on Refinery Fire

January 15, 2007

The Chevron refinery in Richmond will be required to submit an incident report to the county after a fire there resulted in a shelter-in-place order Monday morning.

The county was notified of the fire at 5:26 a.m. and the first Community Warning System siren sounded a shelter-in-place at 5:32 a.m. The order was lifted at 8:39 a.m. after the fire was extinguished and an "All Clear" was issued by Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS).

A Chevron employee was injured after the fire started when a pump seal failed in the refinery crude unit, creating a large plume of smoke. The employee was treated at the hospital and released. There were no other serious injuries from the incident, said CCHS Director Dr. William Walker, the County's Health Officer.

"All smoke is considered harmful to a person's health due to either chemicals or particles, especially for someone who has asthma or an underlying lung disease. The threat is over, and fortunately, the health department has not received any reports of health problems related to this fire," Walker said.

CCHS Hazardous Materials Specialists took air samples in the impacted areas to determine what chemicals were released as a result of the fire. The results of the air sample tests will be available in two to three days.

Chevron will be required to submit a report on the incident within 72 hours. The report is required by Contra Costa County's Hazardous Materials Incident Notification Policy and will be filed with CCHS’ Hazardous Materials Division. The report will be posted on the Contra Costa Health Services website:

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Press Contact
  • Randy Sawyer
  • 925-250-7905