Poisoned Soil in Martinez

The Martinez refinery with numerous smokestacks belching effluent against the coastal hills

Remember that white powder that blanketed Martinez back In November? A chemical accident at Martinez Refinery covered the surrounding area with 20 tons of dust containing heavy metals such as aluminum, chromium, and barium—but didn’t report the incident to the county health department.

Now, out of concern about toxic contamination, Contra Costa Health Services has warned residents of Martinez and nearby Pacheco not to eat the veggies growing in their home gardens.

This is not the kind of world anyone wants to live in. All of us deserve clean air and healthful, locally grown produce. Let’s be clear: fossil fuel production has simply got to go.


Photo by 350 Contra Costa Action volunteer
This article first appeared in our March 2023 Newsletter

350 Contra Costa Action logo in orange, aqua and teal
Editorial Team

Share this page