Advisory Issued on Valero Benicia Refinery Emission- 9 a.m.

Benicia, CA (March 24, 2019) – City of Benicia has issued advisory notice for all residents with respiratory issues at 6:59 a.m., Sunday, March 24, 2019, due to particulate matter from an ongoing incident at the Valero Benicia Refinery.

The Valero Refinery at Benicia Industrial Park has been emitting particulates for about the past week, and the concentration of visible emission has become significantly higher over the past day. The particulates contain coke, a by-product of the refining process that is made up primarily of carbon particles. Testing of the coke involved in this emission release shows no heavy metals at harmful levels; however, the particulates itself may cause discomfort when breathed in and breathing particulates can exacerbate (worsen) underlying respiratory conditions such as asthma. People who have underlying respiratory conditions, such as asthma, chronic bronchitis or emphysema, should take precautions to reduce their exposure and should avoid outdoor activities or strenuous exercise.

Those with respiratory compromise should do the following immediately:

• Go inside your home, workplace, or the nearest building that appears to be reasonably airtight and stay there.

• Close all doors, windows, and any fireplace dampers. Cracks around doors and windows can be sealed with tape or damp towels.

• Stay tuned to receive emergency announcements and instructions.

• Healthy individuals – limit outdoor activity.

The City is working with Valero Refinery on the issue, and has partially activated the City’s Emergency Operations Center. The City has also been in active contact with the Solano County Environmental Health Department, a physician of the Solano County Public Health Department, as well as the Bay Area Quality Management District. The Benicia Unified School District and Solano County’s Office of Emergency Services have also been notified as precaution.

If symptoms such as difficulty breathing develop, contact your healthcare provider; call 911 if the symptoms become severe. Please do not call 9-1-1 unless you are experiencing an emergency.

Please check City’s Twitter and Facebook account for updates.