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Chevron allows oversight of refinery flare
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RICHMOND (AP) — Chevron has allowed a California county agency to oversee its investigation into a refinery flare that brought large flames and steam visible for miles in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The Contra Costa Times reports Tuesday that the energy company’s move is rare and not required.

Contra Costa County health services asked to oversee the investigation of the Dec. 18 fire at Chevron’s Richmond refinery after public concern, and the company agreed.

Chevron said a refinery unit that was depressurized created the flare and water vapor that looked like smoke.

The Richmond Fire Department dispatched crews to the refinery but canceled the call when the facility told them it was a normal flaring operation.

A 2012 refinery fire prompted more than 15,000 people to seek treatment for health problems.