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Flaring at Chevron refinery lights up the sky over El Segundo

 Chevron refinery on a stormy day in El Segundo.
Chevron refinery on a stormy day in El Segundo.
(Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times)

The night sky was illuminated Sunday in El Segundo during a flaring activity at the Chevron oil refinery after a compressor went down.

Tall flames and plumes of dark smoke could be seen for miles around the facility, drawing multiple social media posts. A tweet from the official account for the city of El Segundo at 8 p.m. assured residents that air monitoring had detected no danger outside of the refinery.

The El Segundo Fire Department was on the scene Sunday night monitoring the activity but was not needed, according to reports.

The incident comes four years after a Justice Department investigation into fires and the release of harmful chemicals at Chevron oil refineries in California and three other states.

At the end of the investigation, Chevron agreed to pay nearly $3 million in fines and spend $160 million on improvements and upgrades of its facilities.

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In 2013, Chevron paid $2 million in fines and restitution and pleaded no contest to six charges related to a fire at its refinery in Richmond, Calif., that sent thousands of people to hospitals, many complaining of respiratory problems.

The oil giant agreed to spend $20 million on improving the Richmond facility to settle claims from California regulators.


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