Fluoride Action Network

Hundreds protest Torrance refinery, use of MHF

Source: The Daily Breeze | February 19th, 2017 | By Angela Ratzlaff
Industry type: Oil Refineries

A coalition of environmental groups marched to the Torrance refinery to protest the use of modified hydrofluoric acid and to mark the two-year anniversary of the 1.7 magnitude blast that rocked the city and nearly caused what federal regulators said was a major chemical leak.

A small explosion that occurred at the refinery early Saturday morning provided fuel for the cause.

Congressman Ted W. Lieu, D-Los Angeles County representing California’s 33rd District which includes most of the South Bay, issued a statement after the explosion Saturday morning.

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D | Los Angeles County) issued the following statement in response to the explosion and fire at Torrance Refinery.

“Exactly two years ago, an explosion at the Torrance Refinery nearly resulted in a catastrophic disaster that would have released deadly modified hydroflouric acid (MHF) into the surrounding South Bay communities. It was an Act of God that helped prevent an 80,000 pound piece of equipment from striking and rupturing a MHF tank, which could have resulted in over 100,000 deaths or injuries. On the anniversary of that explosion, we get another explosion and a fire. It is completely unacceptable to have deadly MHF at failing refineries.”
“Congresswoman Maxine Waters and I requested the U.S. Chemical Safety Board to investigate the explosion two years ago. They have not yet completed their final investigation and I will be asking the Chemical Safety Board to include today’s fire and explosion as part of their investigation.”
“I commend the South Coast AQMD for its recent proposal to phase out deadly MHF at refineries in Southern California. I urge SCAQMD to act with urgency.  Refineries are not supposed to have explosions. We need to ban MHF as soon as possible. God may not warn us again.”

• Article online at http://www.dailybreeze.com/media/20170218/environmental-groups-march-to-torrance-refinery

•• See also, Fire Erupts at Torrance refinery just hours before protest rally