Torrance – On Sept. 19, outside a EPA and SCAQMD meeting held in Torrance, Al Muratsuchi, Congressman Ted Lieu and environmental advocates called for more oversight of Torrance Refineries.
They presented an oversight and safety plan that includes a ban on modified hydrofluoric acid and a commitment to work toward alternatives. On Friday, the ACAQMD released a report that outlined safer alternatives to the use of hydrofluoric acid, a chemical that, if accidentally released through another explosion, would have catastrophic effect on the community and could kill thousands of people.
"The refinery's use of the highly toxic modified hydrofluoric acid, a chemical that can be accidentally released and threaten the lives of hundreds of thousands of South Bay residents is of great concern," said Muratsuchi. "As the AQMD's report indicated, there are safer alternatives."
Here is Muratsuchi's six-point plan:
- Ban the use of highly toxic Modified Hydrofluoric Acid. Work with the Torrance refinery, refinery workers, and the City of Torrance to transition to safer alternative technology.
- Install real-time air quality monitors surrounding the Torrance Refinery and provide real-time data to South Bay residents to monitor toxic chemicals and emissions.
- Install and regularly test an effective alarm system capable of warning South Bay residents of accidents or potentially harmful events at the Torrance Refinery.
- Update the Community Disaster Preparedness Plan to include a potential Modified Hydrofluoric Acid release, and ensure that local schools, hospitals, elderly care facilities, playing fields, and other areas where people congregate regularly review and practice the plan. Educate local residents on the dangers of Modified Hydrofluoric Acid and how to deal with a release.
- Form a Torrance refinery community advisory panel to focus on disaster preparedness, community education, and resident input and concerns.
- Work with the Torrance refinery, refinery workers, and City of Torrance to ensure that the jobs and economic benefits of the refinery continue to benefit Torrance and the South Bay.