Cleanup efforts underway after Chevron petroleum spill into bay

A health advisory for people living near the Richmond oil refinery was lifted by Wednesday morning, but clean-up efforts will continue after at least 600 gallons of a petroleum-water mixture spilled into the bay. 

How this spill happened on Tuesday afternoon, is still not clear.

That will be a focus of state and local health officials, and investigators heading to the site on Wednesday. 

Chevron officials say it was around 2:30 p.m. when workers first saw an oil sheen on the water near the Richmond refinery wharf.

Chevron says crews were able to isolate and contain the spill by using two boom vessels and three skimmers to scoop up some of the petroleum-water mixture that had leaked out into the bay.  

"That long wharf is where petroleum products are transferred from a line or a pipeline from the refinery out into the bay," said Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia. "It could have occurred in the line anywhere or with the transfer with the ship." 

Gioia says some of the oil washed ashore along the south Richmond shoreline so there is a concern for marine life.

East Bay Regional Park has closed the beaches along the Richmond shoreline.

People living nearby were told to stay indoors, because of the strong smell of oil and chemicals in the air.

But that health advisory was lifted about 9 p.m. Tuesday. 

Chevron could face fines and penalties for the spill.

If anyone sees an oiled bird in the Bay, they should call the Oiled Wildlife Care Network at 1-877-UCD-OWCN (1-800-823-6926).