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Level 1 event prompts flaring at Shell Monday, ‘No health impacts,’ company says

| November 8, 2017

MARTINEZ, Calif. – Shell Martinez Refinery experienced an unspecified “Level 1” event Monday afternoon, forcing the plant to use flaring to combust excess gas, refinery officials said.

Some residents were alarmed to see flames from the stacks, but Ann Notarangelo, external relations manager for Shell Martinez Refinery said the flaring was a proper approach.

“We experienced an operational issue this afternoon about 4:30 p.m.,” she said Monday.

“As a precaution, the flares were activated as designed and the flares and steam are visible to the community.”

She said a Level 1 was called, and described Level 1 as “an event that happens on-site, with possible offsite impacts, with no health impacts expected.”

While Notarangelo knew people said they saw the flaring, she said, “we have not received word of any offsite impacts.”

She explained flaring as “a safety device used to combust excess gas at the refinery,” and she said the plant used the technique properly “in order to contain the operational issue we had.”

She declined to describe the condition that prompted the flaring.

“For business and competitive reasons, we cannot discuss the specific unit involved or production levels,” she said.

“As always, we would like to acknowledge our outstanding employees at the refinery who are quickly addressing the situation,” she said.

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