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Hazmat team investigates petroleum coke dust release at Martinez refinery

A hazmat team is investigating the release of petroleum coke dust at the Martinez refinery, Contra Costa County health officials said Friday.

The Martinez Refining Company, or MRC, said the release was an isolated incident related to maintenance at the facility, according to Contra Costa Health. Hazardous materials crews investigating report no visible coke dust in the community.

A similar release was reported in July, when officials said the material was visible on the ground in surrounding neighborhoods. Health officials during the July incident warned the public to avoid breathing or close contact with the material.

Coke dust is black and looks like soot, according to Contra Costa Health. Officials said residents should use soap and water to clean any outdoor surfaces that were impacted by the release.

In September, Contra Costa Health held a public meeting to hear from residents regarding a November 2022 hazardous material release from MRC.

Contra Costa Health said in June that a toxicologist determined the release, which started Thanksgiving night and continued until the next day, didn’t increase public health risks from exposure of hazardous materials in nearby soil.

The report can be seen at cchealth.org.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

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Source: NBC Bay Area

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