Here are a couple of recent articles concerning the Torrance California Refinery--
The Chemical Safety Board is considering (per a statement by Chair Vanessa Sutherland at their public meeting on November 14) how to respond to a ruling by US District Court Judge Consuelo Marshall that potentially limits the scope of CSB accident investigations: http://www.dailybreeze.com/2017/11/08/judges-ruling-hamstrings-federal-probe-into-torrance-refinery-explosion-critics-claim/. The previous owners of the Torrance Refinery, ExxonMobil, had refused to turn over certain documents subpoenaed by the CSB in connection with an explosion in pollution control equipment in February 2015. While the judge directed ExxonMobil to provide documents deemed "relevant" to the explosion investigation, about half of the documents were deemed not to be relevant - those related to the refinery's use of modified hydrofluoric acid (MHF). The CSB contended that a large chunk of explosion debris landed near a MHF processing tank, and that this constituted a "near miss release" of a highly toxic chemical. ExxonMobil contended that this request was "overly broad", and the judge agreed.
The current manager of the Torrance Refinery posted a defense of the use of MHF at the refinery: http://www.dailybreeze.com/2017/11/14/the-truth-about-the-torrance-refinery/, contending that the risk to the public portrayed has been grossly exaggerated. This was done in response to a recent "door to door" campaign by activists who oppose the continued use of MHF. In particular, his defense included the following:
Activists have been leaving door hangers that are a clear misrepresentation of the emergency "planning circle" for the refinery under EPA regulations. The EPA has cautioned that "planning circles are not intended to represent a =E2=80=98public danger zone.'" Clearly, the content of this graphic by the activists is inappropriate, inflammatory, presented out of context and designed to scare the public, equivalent to yelling "fire" in a crowded theater.
Regards, Richard Rosera
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