Chevron: Flames, white clouds of steam from California refinery part of routine process

Associated Press

Large flames and white clouds of steam visible for miles from a San Francisco Bay Area refinery caused no harm to the surrounding community.

Chevron says in a statement a refinery process unit that was depressurized Thursday night created the flare and water vapor that looked like smoke.

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The Richmond Fire Department dispatched crews to the refinery but cancelled the call when the refinery told them it was a normal flaring operation.

KTVU-TV reports (http://bit.ly/1AAe9ob) no one was injured inside the plant, and no alarms went off that would indicate a chemical release.

The county hazardous materials team will request a report from Chevron in the next three days explaining what caused the flare.

A 2012 refinery fire prompted more than 15,000 people to seek treatment for respiratory problems and other discomforts after the blaze.

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Information from: KTVU-TV.