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Refinery Near Hercules, Pinole Among Top 10 Releasers of Chemicals: EPA

The Conoco Phillips refinery in Rodeo is at 1380 San Pablo Ave. According to the EPA, the refinery released 896,733 pounds of chemicals into the environment in 2011.

Toxic chemicals managed, treated or released into the environment from facilities operating in California increased in 2011 compared to 2010, and one of the top 10 facilities releasing chemicals that year was the Conoco Phillips refinery in Rodeo a few miles northeast of Hercules and Pinole.

Findings for 2011 were released Wednesday Jan. 16, and they are the most current available, Michael Ardito of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said in a phone interview from San Francisco.

A list of the top 10 chemical releases, and a list of the top 10 facilities releasing chemicals, is part of the latest Toxics Release Inventory data published by the EPA online.

"Community Right-to-Know data helps all of us remain aware of the types and amounts of chemicals being used in our neighborhoods," Jared Blumenfeld, EPA's Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest, said in a statement released Jan. 16. "It is great to see pollution prevention activities at reporting facilities, and we encourage them to reduce their chemical releases via this method."

The Conoco Phillips refinery in Rodeo is at 1380 San Pablo Ave. According to the EPA, the refinery released 896,733 pounds of chemicals into the environment in 2011.

For more information, visit www.epa.gov/region9/tri/report/11.

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Tony Bongiovanni January 17, 2013 at 02:01 AM
I don't understand how we're supposed to react to this information. Are they breaking the law? Are we supposed to stop this from happening? What's the point of this article? I can see the refinery from my backyard and most of the " cloud " activity happens on rainy nights with poor visability. Are we supoosed to report them? 896,733 pounds. That's a lot of pounds of chemicals. That's a lot of pounds of anything. But how does this effect the well being of us local residents? Are we in danger? is it legal? What do you want from us. Hey! Richmond got a nice check from Chevron not long ago. what does Conoco give back to our community? Conoco, if you read this, I want you to spring for a fireworks display on the 4th of July this year. Thanks in advance. In return, I'll buy my gas from you.
None January 17, 2013 at 06:40 PM
This is only a small part of a larger story; how do you compare 896,733 pounds of Toxic chemicals to anything else released into our environment? How much do the other companies and business’ in our area release, and how does this compare to their output of marketable product? What does the pollution from all of the automobiles and trucks traveling up and down Highway 80 contribute to the pollution of our environment? Reporting just one number means nothing. Or, should we just do what the BAAQMD does to people who have a fireplace and shut them down on “High Pollution Days?”
Selina Williams January 17, 2013 at 06:55 PM
What you don't know can surely kill you. This article does little or nothing to inform the public though. Its simply a bate and tease. To get in-depth information you can do further research by visiting the EPA website and maybe reading a few scientific journals on the dangers of the chemicals being released and in what concentrations. Armed with that information you can determine if your family should live in this location. The larger part of the story is a concentration of certain cancers and asthma related to high concentrations of particulates from fireplaces or burning coal and cancer causing chemicals emitted from all sources. It doesn't help to have I-80 and a refinery in close proximity or to be "down wind" of either. The public disclosure is important because sunshine and community awareness helps ensure prevention is pursued.
Shabby Ler January 23, 2013 at 03:42 AM
Serious question: Analyzing the data, how much of of the 896,733 lbs of chemicals is data capturing the amount of released CO2 (a known greenhouse gas), that I'm assuming is a less toxic substance than benzene or hydrogen sulfide? If the answer is zero, I'd really be concerned. Someone should have the answer, I'm sure the public would want to know.

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