Contra Costa Health’s (CCH) Hazardous Materials program is investigating a hazardous materials release from the Martinez Refining Company (MRC) Tuesday morning.
MRC reported through the Community Warning System (CWS) that the released material was coke dust, a byproduct of the petroleum refining process.
The release left the material on the ground, parked cars, and other surfaces in the surrounding neighborhoods. CCH’s Hazardous Materials team is working to assess potential health impacts.
Wipe samples are being taken and will be sent to a lab for analysis. Results are expected by the end of the week. CCH will provide updates after the results are reviewed.
Coke dust is black and looks like soot. Use soap and water to clean impacted outdoor surfaces.
MRC notified CCH of the release around 10:20 a.m. through the CWS. MRC reported the release took place around 8:30 a.m. and lasted approximately one minute.
“We are very concerned about the delayed notification to the Community Warning System. We are once again responding to a refinery incident and trying to determine the health impacts,” said Contra Costa County Supervisor Federal Glover. “We understand this is an ongoing concern for our community and timely notification is critical.”
CCH requested a 72-hour report about the incident, which will be posted to cchealth.org.