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Contra Costa Health Services


Chevron Refinery Aug. 6, 2012 fire, health impacts and FAQs

- Final Investigation Report from U.S. Chemical Safety Board (PDF) - January 2015
- Chevron 30-day Report | (2nd) 30-day Report (PDF)
- Chevron 72-hour Report | Cover letter (PDF)

The results of our air samples collected during the August 6 fire at the Chevron Richmond refinery are available online: Lab Analysis (PDF)

Smoke can cause throat and eye irritation, though it generally is not serious if the exposure is limited. These symptoms should resolve on their own after a few days for most people. Exposure to smoke can cause people with pre-existing lung disease, such as asthma, to experience wheezing or have trouble breathing. As of August 23, 15,124 people have gone to the emergency room. Most cases have been minor complaints of nose, throat or eye irritation or respiratory issues.

For answers to specific questions about the incident, including water and garden safety, please see our Questions and Answers (PDF).

Incident overview

Shortly after 6:30 p.m. on August 6, Contra Costa Health Services' Hazardous Materials staff responded to a fire at the Chevron Richmond Refinery. The fire was deemed a Level 3 incident—meaning the most severe—and a shelter-in-place was ordered for Richmond, San Pablo and North Richmond. Contra Costa Health Services Hazardous Materials staff quickly arrived on scene and began air testing. Samples were submitted to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District for analysis. Emergency information was posted to our website and disseminated through Facebook and Twitter accounts. Health advisories were issued for persons who did not live in a shelter-in-place region, yet had respiratory sensitivities. Sirens continued to sound throughout the shelter-in-place areas every 30 minutes. The shelter-in-place was lifted at 11:12 p.m. as the situation came under control.

Chevron phone numbers & Links


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