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Power outage at Chevron results in 'high flare'

North Burnaby residents may have noticed an unusual plume of smoke coming from the Chevron refinery, following a power outage on Saturday evening. According to refinery spokesperson Ray Lord, the outage happened on Saturday, May 25, around 9 p.m.

North Burnaby residents may have noticed an unusual plume of smoke coming from the Chevron refinery, following a power outage on Saturday evening.

According to refinery spokesperson Ray Lord, the outage happened on Saturday, May 25, around 9 p.m.

"The entire refinery was affected, and our safety systems functioned as designed. The event did, however, result in a high flare overnight and periodically over the rest of the weekend as the operating units were being stabilized," Lord wrote in an email to the NOW. "Local regulatory and public safety agencies were advised of the refinery's operating status following the power interruption."

Ray also said that "a period of higher than normal stack opacity was seen from the FCC (fluid catalytic cracker) unit" during the process of preparing the units for restart on Monday, May 27.

"As startup procedures continued into Monday afternoon, opacity levels from the FCC stack returned to normal," he said. "We were in contact with regulatory officials from Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Health Authority to make them aware of our progress on the plant restart. We believe that at no time did this condition present any risk to the surrounding neighbourhood."

Metro Vancouver, which monitors air quality, received complaints from three people regarding the incident, but monitoring stations did not detect significant levels of sulphur dioxide or fine particulate matter in the air. Metro Vancouver confirmed there were petroleum odours beyond the refinery and plans to follow up with Chevron regarding the emissions.

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