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Flaring at Wilmington refinery caused by mechanical failure

The Phillips 66 refinery looms over a Wilmington neighborhood.
The Phillips 66 refinery looms over a Wilmington neighborhood.
(Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)

Flaring and black smoke coming from the Phillips 66 refinery in Wilmington on Tuesday afternoon was caused by a mechanical failure, according to the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

Ten members of the public called to complain about the flaring and black smoke starting about 3:10 p.m. and lasting about 90 minutes, said Nahal Mogharabi, a spokesperson for South Coast AQMD.

“Shortly after the first complaint was received, a South Coast AQMD inspector was dispatched to the facility,” Mogharabi said in an emailed statement. “The inspector conducted an investigation but did not observe active flaring or visible emissions.”

Refinery officials told the South Coast AQMD that the issue was caused by a mechanical failure, Mogharabi said.

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The residents who complained were contacted and the flaring is still being investigated.


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