A power outage Monday at the Chevron refinery in Richmond, California, made it necessary to activate flare stacks and burn excess flammable gas to avoid a dangerous pressure buildup, company officials report.
Excess pressure can result when an industrial process such as refining petroleum is disrupted before completion. Safety valves vent the building pressure to tall chimneys known as flare stacks where it can be safety burned off.
Chevron issued a low-level hazard alert to the surrounding community due to smoke generated by the flaring.
Contra Costa County’s Community Warning System is recognized as one of the nation’s most modern and effective all-hazard public warning systems. In the event of an immediate threat to health or safety the system is activated.
The alert issued is one of the lowest on the CWS scale.
High temperatures and low winds allowed the smoke to rise high into the atmosphere with directly affecting the surrounding neighborhoods.
The Bay Area Air Quality agency is investigating the incident.
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