An oversight committee formed to investigate the causes and assess the risks from a chemical release from the Martinez Refining Company in November will hold its second virtual meeting Thursday.
The refinery accidentally released more than 20 tons of metal-laden "spent catalyst" dust into the community over Thanksgiving weekend without notifying the community via the county emergency system or the county health services department, both of which are required by law.
The release started around 9:30 p.m. Nov. 24 and continued into the early hours of Nov. 25, showering the surrounding community in the dust-like substance.
Samples of the dust later showed elevated levels of aluminum, barium, chromium, nickel, vanadium and zinc, all of which could have caused respiratory problems in people breathing it.
County health officials said they learned about the release via media reports a day and a half later. The county formed the 11-member independent panel to investigate the incident and have referred the case to the Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office. Refinery officials have said they're cooperating with the investigations.
County health officials released a statement Tuesday saying people growing food in soil near the refinery at the time of the release shouldn't eat it.
To watch the Zoom meeting scheduled for 2:15 p.m. Thursday (March 9), go to https://bit.ly/3L11Vmb. For more information on the independent investigation and risk assessment, visit cchealth.org/hazmat/mrc.
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