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Richmond’s Chevron refinery flare causes concern among residents

Flickr / Creative Commons
Chevron oil refinery close to highway 101 in California.

Contra Costa Health Services stated in their report that an incident investigation is ongoing to determine the cause of the flare and fire. According to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, in December 2020, Chevron agreed to pay more than 140,000 dollars to settle air quality violations at the Richmond Refinery. Those violations occurred in 2016 to 2018.

According to a report filed with the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, there was a flaring event at Chevron on Sunday, October 24th. Three days later, a report by Contra Costa Health Services stated that a small fire occurred and multiple process units were shut down due to an operating issue.

Richmond Confidential reports that a sulfur-like smell blanketed Richmond that day and the following Monday forced the closure of Richmond High School, Ford Elementary, and Peres (PAIR-eez) K-8 school.

According to the Richmond Confidential, last wednesday another flaring event occurred that required notification. Contra Costa Health Services said on Facebook that it recommended people, who are sensitive to the sulfur like odor, should stay indoors.

Hamiintamc! I am Maara'yam (Serrano), Kumeyaay, and white. I was born and raised in my ancestral territory that is now known as San Bernardino in Southern California. I am a recent graduate of Scripps College where I majored in Sociology and took many classes in Media Studies. I was first introduced to public radio, podcasting, and journalism in my first year of college when I worked for WERS 88.9 FM in Boston, MA. After transferring to Scripps, I found other academic studies like social justice, political economy, Indigenous history and resistance, and Indigenous language revitalization. Post grad I have decided to return my way back to the public radio and journalism world and I am most excited to cover stories about California Indigenous people, language revitalization, and Indigenous politics. I am grateful to now be hosted on the unceded ancestral territory of the Ohlone people in Yelamu (San Francisco). In my free time, I enjoy collecting records, reading Indigenous novels and books, going on walks with my Siberian Husky, and drinking way too much coffee. Hakup a'ai ami' pahi'kow tan hiiv!