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January 31, 2007 at 8:38 am #4061
Chevron Refinery Fire Exposes Warning Glitch
Jan. 25 – KGO – Contra Costa County admits there are some big problems its emergency phone warning system.
People who live in the area packed a community meeting last night in Point Richmond. They’re concerned over delayed emergency notification calls, after a fire at the Chevron refinery ten days ago.
The sheriff’s department says it ordered automated calls, warning people to stay inside, close their windows and shut off ventilation systems. But a software glitch delayed calls to 2,800 homes.
Some called on Chevron to restore the community advisory committee that used to be in place.
Chevron and county officials say the warning sirens went off correctly to remind people to shelter in place.
The county has decided to hire a new company to handle the automated telephone warning system.
January 31, 2007 at 8:39 am #7475
A Look Back At Chevron Refinery Incidents
Jan. 25 – KGO – The Bay Area Quality Management District reports 43 refinery incidents in Contra Costa County since 1992. The incidents include toxic releases, oil spills, fires and explosions.
In the past 15 years there have been 14 refinery incidents in Martinez, 10 in Richmond, 10 in Rodeo, 2 in Pittsburg, 2 in Benicia, 3 in Avon, 1 in Hercules and 1 in Bay Point.
The last incident that occurred at the Chevron refinery in Richmond was May, 2000 when it released sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere. One year before that, there was an explosion and fire at Chevron’s refinery in Martinez.
The Contra Costa Country Sheriff’s Department says it has issued a Request for Proposal in a search for a new vendor to support its emergency telephone system. Because more and more people are using cell phones for their home phone, the county is also exploring the possibility of sending emergency messages to cell phones. Currently the technology is being tested, so county officials are not sure if it will be ready when it selects a new vendor.
Officials also want to remind Contra Costa County residents that the early warning sirens mean one thing: take shelter and go to your radio or television for further information.
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