Benicia residents worried about nearby refineries


BENICIA (KRON)– For some people who live in Benicia, refineries are just a fact of life.

A flaring event that occurred a  few weeks ago had a lot of residents worried and the city’s mayor said she wants to take action.

On May 5th, a power outage at the Valero refinery in Benicia resulted in a flaring event that sent black smoke pouring into the sky.

A nearby industrial area was evacuated, two elementary schools were ordered to shelter in place, and a dozen people were taken to the hospital.

The city’s mayor, Elizabeth Patterson, said the flaring event shows that the refinery needs additional oversight.

She is now proposing that the city adopts an industrial safety ordinance, similar to one that’s already in place in Contra Costa County.

The goal of the ordinance would be to prevent future chemical releases, create a safety plan for the community and improve air monitoring around the refinery.

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