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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."

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Easy Reader News - Ryan McDonald

Eighteen months after an explosion hit the oil refinery in Torrance, shockwaves are still being felt.

The blast energized Torrance residents, prompting families to organize into dedicated advocacy groups. Now, with regulators and politicians paying increasingly close attention, critical changes to the refining process at the facility —  ExxonMobil at the time of the blast, now Torrance Refining Co. —  may be on the horizon.

Drawing particular attention is the refinery’s use of modified hydrofluoric acid. While effective in the gasoline production process, hydrofluoric acid is also dangerous, and regulators examining the facility have indicated that the February 2015 incident could have been far worse had the explosion breached the acid storage area, threatening residents all across the South Bay.

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KPCC

South Bay area politicians and activists on Monday called for a ban on an acid used at the Torrance refinery, speaking just hours after residents were presented with an unplanned flareup at the facility.

Hydrofluoric acid is used in the refining of petroleum to create gasoline, but it can pose a danger to the public when not handled properly.

“Hydrofluoric acid is extremely dangerous. It is so dangerous that if released into the air, it forms a vapor cloud that travels around with the wind and kills people who come in contact with it,” Congressman Ted Lieu of Torrance said.

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Torrance Daily Breeze - Nick Green

Two regulatory agencies met with Torrance residents Monday over refinery safety and emission issues as the plant was forced to flare for a second consecutive day, serving as another reminder to critics of its reliability and pollution problems.

Now owned by PBF Energy, the plant was among 57,582 Southern California Edison customers that lost power at 3:31 a.m. over a wide area that included parts of Torrance, Hawthorne, Gardena and Los Angeles, said utility spokeswoman Mary Ann Milbourn.

Most had their power restored by about 4:48 a.m.

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Rafu Shimpo - J.K. Yamamoto

TORRANCE — Al Muratsuchi finished first among three candidates for the 66th Assembly District in the June 7 primary.

The results as of June 18 showed Muratsuchi, a Democrat who lost his Assembly seat to Republican David Hadley in 2014, with 48,612 votes (48.5 percent) to Hadley’s 45,396 (45.3 percent), followed by Democrat Mike Madrigal with 6,142 (6.1 percent). Muratsuchi and Hadley will go head-to-head in November.

“We won!” Muratsuchi said in a statement. “We got the most votes in the 66th Assembly District election … beating the Republican incumbent by three percentage points. Democrats received almost 55 percent of the votes cast for the South Bay Assembly seat in the June 7 primary election. This bodes well for the November general election, where the turnout will be even higher.

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Javier Panzar - Los Angeles Times

We know Democratic candidates have been using Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump as a sort of boogeyman to scare voters and pry open donor checkbooks.

But can his vice presidential pick Mike Pence scare donors into chipping in some dough for Democratic candidates too?

Congressional candidate Bryan Caforio hopes the answer is yes.

Caforio, an attorney and first time candidate who is challenging Rep. Steve Knight (R-Lancaster) for his North Los Angeles County seat, is using Pence's scheduled visit to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley on Thursday to try and raise $5,000.

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Rafu Shimpo

RANCHO PALOS VERDES — Democratic Assembly candidate Al Muratsuchi held an anti-Donald Trump rally at Founder’s Park, adjacent to the Trump National Golf Club in Rancho Palos Verdes, on Aug. 24.

Muratsuchi is running in the 66th Assembly District, which includes the Palos Verdes Peninsula. He represented the district for one term before being defeated by Republican David Hadley two years ago.

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California Playbook - POLITICO

-- AD-66 – Democrat Al Muratsuchi for Assembly announced formation of a new group called “Women For Al,” with endorsers including Rep. Maxine Waters and Congresswoman Janice Hahn, former Manhattan Beach Mayor and City Councilwoman Amy Howorth, Hermosa Beach City Councilmember (and Republican) Stacey Armato, and Terry Ragins, Torrance Unified School District Board Vice President.

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Politico California - Carla Marinucci

With the luxurious Trump National Golf Club in Rancho Palos Verdes as his backdrop, Democratic state Assembly candidate Al Muratsuchi found the perfect setting Wednesday for a campaign rally to needle his Republican opponent, incumbent David Hadley.

“We’re not going to stay on the sidelines and let that man become the next president of the United States,’’ Muratsuchi said during an event that referenced Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump dozens of times.

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Torrance Daily Breeze - Al Muratsuchi

With a historic presidential election rapidly approaching, it is time to take a real stand for the South Bay and our country.

Our next president of the United States is going to be either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, with all due respect to third-party candidates. The choice between Clinton and Trump could not be more clear. The stakes could not be higher — for our children, our families, and our nation.

This is no time to stay on the sidelines of this historic election with your finger in the wind. We cannot afford to sit this one out or cast a protest vote. This election is too important.