Contra Costa Health is asking for the public to offer comments on the findings from a third-party analysis of the allegedly hazardous materials released from the Martinez Refining Company last November.

The refinery released spent catalyst on Nov. 24 and 25, 2022.

There will be a public hearing on the report — which has not yet been officially accepted by the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors — from 6 to 8 p.m. Sept. 25 at the county administration building.

CCH announced in June an independent toxicologist found the release did not increase public health risks from exposure to nearby soil.

But the analysis didn’t take into account any health effects to the public during the release, which lasted from Thanksgiving night until the next day and released an estimated 20 to 24 tons of material into the community.

The refinery didn’t alert the county or the community warning system as required by law, and residents found cars and homes covered in dust, samples of which showed elevated levels of aluminum, barium, chromium, nickel, vanadium, and zinc, all of which can cause respiratory problems. CCH found out about the release via social media reports a day-and-a-half after it started.

Investigation ongoing

The Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office is still investigating MRC for failing to notify authorities about the release.

County supervisors put together an oversight committee, including residents from affected areas, to investigate whether the release increased risk of health problems in the community due to environmental contamination. The panel is also looking at what caused the release.

Health officials stress the report is not an investigation into the spent catalyst release. The report includes results of soil sampling and evaluation of the levels of metals found in the samples compared to published sources of soil health standards and regional background levels for naturally occurring metals found in the catalyst dust.

At the Sept. 25 meeting, Contra Costa County’s Hazardous Material Programs will discuss the findings from the evaluation and receive public comment about the report, CCH said in a statement.

The public comment period remains open until Oct. 12.

Comments on the report can be sent to Comments can be mailed to Michael Dossey at Contra Costa Health Hazardous Materials Programs, 4585 Pacheco Blvd., Suite 100, Martinez, CA 94553.