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Martinez Residents Seek Answers on Toxic Refinery Release

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Martinez, California / USA - October 9 2022: A close-up image of the PBF Refinery in Martinez, California. (Michael R Lopez via Getty Images)

Residents of Martinez woke up the morning after Thanksgiving last year to find a white powder coating their neighborhoods. About a week later, county health officials announced it was a toxic release from Martinez Refining Co. and,  after another several weeks, residents were told not to eat any food grown in their soil.  Now, on Wednesday, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District will present the Martinez City council with its report on where the two tons of “spent catalyst” landed.  Forum talks with residents and officials about their quest to get answers and accountability,  and the uneasy relationship between the area’s refineries and the neighbors who share their air.


Heidi Taylor, resident of Martinez

Charles Davidson, Sunflower Alliance

Matt Kaufmann, deputy director, Contra Costa Health Services

Ori Tzvieli, health officer, Contra Costa County

Brianne Zorn, mayor, Martinez, California


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