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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Torrance, CA – Al Muratsuchi, candidate for Assembly for the 66th Assembly District, testified this morning at the EPA/SCAQMD meeting in Torrance about the safety of the Torrance Refining Company. He spoke about the urgent need to make the refinery safe for the people who live around the refinery and throughout the South Bay. The meeting focused on a report released Friday that called for alternatives to Modified Hydrofluoric Acid.
He also gave details of his six-point Refinery Safety Plan to help ensure that the people in Torrance are safe from dangerous emissions from the refinery, including a ban on Modified Hydrofluoric Acid.
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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.
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.
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.
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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Torrance, CA - Al Muratsuchi’s campaign to retake the 66th Assembly District seat continues to gain momentum as Families Lobbying Against Refinery Exposures (FLARE), an organization created to protect “the South Bay from the Torrance refinery,” endorses him in his bid to represent the South Bay.
“FLARE is proud to endorse Al Muratsuchi for Assembly. The South Bay needs a strong leader in the Assembly who will work hard to keep the families and children who live near and around the Torrance Refining Company safe. We know Al will stand up to the oil companies to implement needed regulations and oversight on the refinery. Al Muratsuchi is the kind of leader we need in Sacramento,” says Catherine Leys, Co-Founder of FLARE.
Torrance, CA – Republican Assemblyman David Hadley is up to his old tricks again, saying one thing and doing another and always hiding from the truth. This time, he has apparently used state taxpayer funds for a state mailer that looks and reads like a campaign mailer. Entitled, “Time to derail the bullet train,” it came from the office of “Assemblyman, 66th District, David Hadley.” But the mailer, in its look and message, is really a campaign mailer.
The problem? It is illegal to put campaign issues in a state, taxpayer-funded mailer. And David Hadley knows that.
“David Hadley has just violated state law by spending taxpayer money to send out a campaign mailer that is disguised as a legislative mailer to thousands of voters in the South Bay. This is outrageous, and downright illegal. In look, feel and tone this was a campaign mailer. The voters just paid for a mailer for the David Hadley for Assembly campaign, not one from Assemblyman David Hadley. It is wrong, and we won’t stand for it,” says Mike Shimpock, campaign consultant.
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“My opponent, Republican Assemblyman David Hadley, is campaigning like his party’s Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump, with ridiculous, fear-mongering lies about my coauthoring AB 375, a 2013 bill, that supposedly allows pedophiles in classrooms.
You want the truth? You can Google "AB 375 Los Angeles Times".
According to the Times editorial of April 7, 2013, AB 375 "would help streamline the tortuous procedure for getting rid of the state's worst teachers." The editorial declares, "[AB 375] could become one of the state's most important and overdue education reforms in more than a decade."