ANACORTES - A steam issue that caused flaring and smoke at the Puget Sound Refinery today has been stabilized with no injuries reported or impact to the community beyond the visible nature of the incident. Work will continue at the plant throughout the weekend with some occasional controlled flaring, but no external impact is expected. A flare is a safety device used to safely combust excess gases in the refinery. It was used properly during this morning's operational disruption, and the issue was quickly addressed with all appropriate agencies notified.

"The health and safety of the community and our people are of the utmost importance in everything we do," said refinery spokesperson Cory Ertel. "We are very grateful to our employees who responded quickly and comprehensively to this issue. There is still some work to do from an operations perspective, but there should be no impact to the community."

As a precaution, refinery employees conducted air-monitoring in and around the facility today and results did not detect off-site impacts, apart from the visual impact. Residents with questions, comments or concerns about this or any other refinery issue are encouraged to call the refinery's hotline at 360-293-1797.

"As with all we do at the refinery, we aim to complete this work in a way that does not impact the community. We hope our neighbors will let us know if we fall short of that goal."