Health Advisory Lifted for Martinez, Pacheco After Shell Refinery 'Shutdown'

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An image of the Shell Oil refinery April 1, 2004 in Martinez, California. A health advisory issued for residents in Martinez and Pacheco has been lifted. The advisory followed an unspecified incident at the refinery.  (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

A public health advisory issued early Friday morning for residents of Martinez and Pacheco has been lifted following a "flaring incident" at the local Shell Refinery, officials said.

The advisory warned about "a potential for odors" that could impact those with respiratory conditions. Residents who experience eye, skin, nose or throat irritation were advised to go indoors and rinse out the irritated area of their body.

The Community Warning System, operated by the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office, issued the alert around 5:45 a.m.

"There is no further concern for people with sensitivities in the area and all normal activities can be resumed, "the sheriff's office said on their site.

Shell spokeswoman Kristin Marczak, who spoke with San Francisco Gate, compared the incident to a “ car running and you have an unplanned shutdown of that car. We have a number of units within the plant that operate and one of those units had kind of an unplanned shutdown.”


In a statement, Shell described the incident as a “unit upset" but did not provide specifics.