Friday, June 15, 2012

2012-06-15 "Strong, 'broken egg' smell around Rodeo stems from leak at ConocoPhillips refinery" from "Bay City News" and "Vallejo Times-Herald" newspaper
Strong odors are expected to last all day following a gas leak at the ConocoPhillips oil refinery in Rodeo Friday morning, a Contra Costa County hazmat official said.
 Crews were responding as of 8 a.m. to the refinery at 1380 San Pablo Ave., said Steve Morioka, assistant director of the county's hazardous materials program.
 There are strong odors in the surrounding area resulting from egg-type odor," he said.
 Prevailing winds carried the odor toward Crockett, Vallejo and Benicia, said Randy Sawyer, the county's chief environmental health and hazmat officer.
 The odor was reported by numerous Benicia residents as well as a construction crew near Birds Landing, a Solano County hazmat official said.
 Health officials have advised people to stay indoors if they have respiratory problems.
 The odors are the result of a hydrogen sulfide release tied to a tank failure at the refinery, Sawyer said.
 "The tank over-pressurized and a welding seam failed," Sawyer said. Crews were responding by covering the tank with foam, he said.
 The levels of gas that were released were well below levels of concern, health officials said.
 The Bay Area Air Quality Monitoring District is investigating to determine the leak's exact cause. Sawyer said the refinery has been asked to submit an investigation report to county officials by Monday.
 City of Benicia officials issued an advisory this morning advising residents that the odor they are noticing "is following the prevailing winds and will dissipate shortly."

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