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Flaring At Valero Oil Refinery Causes Nearby Evacuations

Update 1:43 p.m.: Shelter-in-place has also been lifted for Robert Semple Elementary, according to the City of Benicia. Dismissal of students to continue.

Update 1:23 p.m.: The City of Benicia announced that the shelter-in-place order issued for Matthew Turner Elementary has been lifted due to EPA air quality testing. Robert Semple Elementary's order has not been lifted. The school district will work on dismissing students. 

Original post: Residents and businesses in Benicia are voluntarily evacuating the area downwind from a Valero oil refinery that started flaring at around 7 a.m.

The Benicia Police Department says the outage "is causing flaring and smoke from the stacks" and any business or structure downwind from Valero "should evacuate and avoid the area."

Residents are advised to keep windows and doors shut to avoid exposure to the smoke. 

People nearby have responded on social media regarding the flaring and smoking.

-Capital Public Radio Staff

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