EPA probe finds safety issues at Torrance oil refinery

Damage to the ExxonMobil refinery in Torrance from an explosion is seen from 190th Street. Photo by John Schreiber.
Injury to the refinery in Torrance from an explosion is seen from one hundred and ninetieth Road. Photograph by John Schreiber.

The house owners of the oil refinery in Torrance thought-about Wednesday their response to an EPA report that discovered quite a few security violations on the facility.

Among the many findings, EPA inspectors final fall discovered damaged gear that remained disabled for weeks although its function is to assist include any unintentional launch of poisonous hydrofluoric acid. The probe additionally discovered that the plant required danger administration plan understated the hazard to the group from a fireplace or chemical launch due to a number of errors and inaccuracies, the Day by day Breeze reported.

Refinery managers say they use a modified type of the acid to make it safer, however business critics and native activists have questioned whether or not it truly is. Hydrofluoric acid is utilized in a refinery alkylation unit to fabricate excessive-octane grades of gasoline.

Members of the Torrance Metropolis Council have been scheduled Tuesday to debate whether or not to help a decision written by Councilman Tim Goodrich that seeks to part out using the acid on the refinery. Solely two California refineries — the one in Torrance and one Wilmington — don’t use a safer various to hydrofluoric acid, which types a probably deadly poisonous cloud when launched.

The county Board of Supervisors helps an analogous decision supporting a proposal by the South Coast Air High quality Administration District to ban the chemical.

“The revelations detailed within the EPA report underscore how harmful modified hydrofluoric acid is, which is why we’d like a transition to a safer various,” Goodrich, who referred to as the EPA report damning, stated in remarks reported by the Breeze.

The AQMD is scheduled to carry an all-day assembly Saturday on the Torrance Marriott to debate a number of points surrounding the refinery, together with repeated electrical outages and gear breakdowns that led to extreme flaring and elevated air pollution.

Since PBF Power took over the refinery from ExxonMobil final yr, the plant has seen at the least one crane collapse and at the very least two fires, in line with the Breeze.

Torrance Hearth Division Assistant Chief Steve Treskes stated final week that since PBF assumed management of the refinery final July 1, firefighters have acquired studies of ninety seven incidents there and responded to about 30 of them, the newspaper reported.

Firefighters responded to a different gear breakdown Tuesday brought on by an influence disruption that required an engine response and an unplanned flaring notification. An identical incident occurred final week, Treskes stated.

The hearth division has issued two violation notices to PBF since Jan. 1. One was issued for a nuisance odor, the opposite for failing to offer well timed notifications of an incident as required, Treskes stated.

New Jersey-based mostly PBF Power has till April 27 to answer the inspection findings. Jeff Dill, president of PBF western division, says the corporate is reviewing the EPA report.

—Metropolis Information…

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