October 14, 2008 at 2:12 pm #3379
<Tesoro Golden Eagle had either a large flare from FCC Gas Compressor failure or a small explosion, two different news items are attached. I suspect that it was just flare incident and not an explosion. Tesoro G.Eagle last had a explosion/fire back Sep17, 2004. – Comments by Charlie Randall >
Small Explosion Reported at Tesoro Refinery
Updated: Oct 14, 2008 10:32 AM CDT
MARTINEZ (KRON) — Contra Costa County officials are confirming reports of a small explosion this morning at the Tesoro refinery.
KRON 4 viewers report hearing the blast coming from the plant. Officials say in most cases such explosions happen when the refinery is releasing built-up pressure by igniting excess petroleum products. Such “flaring” is reportedly common at Tesoro.
The refinery is located east of Interstate 680 and north of Highway Four in Contra Costa County. There are no confirmed reports of damage or injury.
Posted: Tuesday, 14 October 2008 9:05AM
Refinery’s Flare Notification Delayed
MARTINEZ, Calif. (KCBS) — A malfunction during a flaring operation Tuesday morning at the Tesoro Golden Eagle Refinery near Martinez sent a large chemical flame into the air.
County hazmat officials were informed of the flaring 25 minutes after it had started only because a county employee driving past the refinery spotted the unusually large flame and contacted Tesoro, said Steven Morioka, assistant director of the Contra Costa County Hazardous Materials Office.
“We shouldn’t have to call them. They should be calling us,” Morioka said.
The unusual flaring began around 6:10 a.m. when a flare gas compressor failed, making the flame normally visible at the top of the stack much larger than normal, although no dangerous material was released into the air.
A formal notification from Tesoro did not come for about 45 minutes, Morioka said, and the county will investigate why it was not notified in a timely manner as required by law.
A Tesoro representative told KCBS the company wanted to make sure its employees and nearby residents were safe before contacting the county. The flare was visible for some distance from the freeway, and noticed by several KCBS listeners.
In May, the refinery reached a settlement with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District related to air quality violations. The company agreed to pay a $1.5 million civil penalty, and to undertake several capital improvement projects and upgrades.
The Tesoro Refining and Marketing Co. had been accused of failing to inspect tanks and equipment, air pollution releases that resulted from equipment malfunctions, and administrative and reporting violations.
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