FBI, EPA canvass California residents over refinery emissions- report By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the headquarters of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Washington, D.C., U.S., May 10, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

By Laura Sanicola

(Reuters) – The FBI and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are canvassing Martinez, California, residents over a November oil refinery emissions release, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times.    

PBF Energy (NYSE:)’s Martinez refinery emitted a “powdery substance” last Nov. 24 and 25 and had failed to notify the county of the release, Reuters reported last year.

Up to 24 tons of spent catalysts, which are used in the refining process, were released and fell on homes, cars and a school, according to the newspaper report.

PBF acquired the refinery, located on an 860-acre site in Martinez, in 2020.

The Department of Justice, which oversees the FBI, did not reply to a Reuters request for comment.

PBF did not reply to requests for comment.

A sample collected by Contra Costa Health Services last year showed levels of aluminum, barium, chromium, nickel, vanadium, and zinc higher than normal background levels for those metals.

The Contra Costa District Attorney is pursuing legal action against the refinery for failing to notify the county when the release happened, county health officials have said.

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