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Plan calls for ban on highly toxic Modified Hydrofluoric Acid, toxic chemical monitoring and warning systems

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Kerry Townsend Jacob, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 310-806-0893

Torrance, CA – Today, outside the EPA and SCAQMD meeting held in Torrance, Al Muratsuchi, Congressman Ted Lieu and environmental experts and activists called for greater oversight of the Torrance Refining Company and presented a detailed, six-point refinery safety plan to help keep families in Torrance safe.

The plan, among other things, called for a ban on modified hydrofluoric acid and a commitment to work toward safer 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.

“This is personal for me. When the refinery exploded last year, my wife, daughter and I lived less than two miles from the refinery,” said Muratsuchi. “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. That’s why I am here to call for a ban on the use of modified hydrofluoric acid. This dangerous chemical does not belong in a residential community like Torrance. As the AQMD’s report indicated, there are safer alternatives.”

Congressman Ted Lieu said the six-point is needed for Torrance residents.

“Al Muratsuchi’s six-point plan provides the necessary safety and regulatory protections to protect the citizens of Torrance. We need an Assemblymember who will put safety for the people of Torrance first. As is outlined in his plan, this includes real-time air quality monitors, a community disaster preparedness plan and an effective alarm system that can warm residents of any emissions. Al Muratsuchi is the right leader in Sacramento to help keep Torrance safe from harmful refinery emissions that can harm our community,” said Congressman Ted Lieu.

Muratsuchi’s six-point plan is listed below:

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. Install and regularly test an effective alarm system capable of warning South Bay residents of accidents or potentially harmful events at the Torrance Refinery.

4. 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.

5. Form a Torrance refinery community advisory panel to focus on disaster preparedness, community education, and resident input and concerns.

6. 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.

Muratsuchi represented the 66th Assembly District from 2012 to 2014, and is widely considered the number one priority and opportunity for state Assembly leadership to regain a Democratic seat. Muratsuchi has lived in the South Bay for the past twenty years with his wife and daughter. He is a Deputy Attorney General with the California Department of Justice, a former Torrance School Board member, and a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and UCLA School of Law.