We just received this photo from a Claycordian in Martinez, who says she saw this black smoke, which came from the area of the Shell Refinery in Martinez.
As we reported just a little while ago, authorities are investigating a strong smell of natural gas at the Shell Refinery in Martinez. They say there is no shelter-in-place, but say anybody with pre-existing respiratory issues such as asthma should avoid the area or stay indoors.
The Contra Costa Health Department says two puffs of black smoke were sent into the air from a flare at the Shell Refinery earlier today.
UPDATE, 2:17pm: The following update is from Shell:
The odor from the refinery is diminishing and Shell’s community air sampling team has reported back that no harmful readings have been detected.
Residents will note some smoke coming from one of the refinery’s flares. The flare is a safety device used to combust excess gases. There is no need to shelter-in-place.
As we reported earlier today, the odor is being smelled from as far away as the City of Clayton.