(KRON) — A release of toxic dust by the Martinez Refining Company is under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Environmental Protection Agency, the FBI confirmed to KRON.
The release happened six months ago, when a plant upset at the refinery spewed tons of toxic dust containing heavy metals into the city of Martinez area. Residents in the area report that the FBI and EPA are working with the Department of Justice in a door-to-door investigation.
“The FBI, working with our federal partners at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), are speaking with members of the community in Martinez, who could have been affected by the release of potentially hazardous materials at the Martinez Refining Company which occurred in November, 2022. As this investigation is ongoing, we will not be making further comment at this time.” — Federal Bureau of Investigation, San Francisco
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The Martinez Refining Company has reported several incidents since the toxic dust release in November 2022. The Contra Costa County Health Services advised that a separate investigation into a flaring incident in December 2022 initiated a separate incident report from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. In January of this year, the Contra Costa County Fire Department responded to a smoldering fire at Martinez Refining Company.
The Martinez Refining Company provided the following statement to KRON4:
“We are aware of the Department of Justice’s investigation and as a matter of policy do not comment on pending legal matters. We are cooperating with all relevant agencies, including with respect to any ongoing investigations related to the incident. We would, however, like to take this opportunity to once again apologize to the Martinez community for the spent catalyst release on November 24, 2022. We have thoroughly investigated the incident to identify appropriate corrective actions and we are committed to implementing them.”