Earlier this month, the city of Carson approved the historic, multi-year Community Benefits Agreement with the Tesoro oil and gas corporation. The South Coast Air Quality Management District, the agency responsible for air pollution controls in Southern California, gave regulatory approval for Tesoro’s Los Angeles Refinery Integration and Compliance Project earlier this year. We worked closely with City Manager Ken Farfsing and City Attorney Sunny Soltani to mitigate LARIC’s impacts on Carson residents.

… So, yes, my friends, Carson could have continued fighting and ended up with nothing but delays. In the meantime, Carson would still not know the true nature of our local air quality. But under this agreement, we achieve two major objectives for our residents, in addition to getting $45 million:

• Carson will not have to worry about Tesoro resorting to the use of the much cheaper and highly toxic, volatile compound hydrofluiric  [sic hydrofluoric] acid— or its modified evil twin chemicals — that plague and worry Torrance residents living near that refinery. This is because, under our agreement, Tesoro is forbidden from ever using these highly toxic volatile chemicals.

• With the $45 million, we can do our own environmental mitigation improvements, installing air-quality monitoring devices, and not have to wait upon the whims of AQMD staff to do the right thing for Carson residents.

Without a doubt, this agreement is good for Carson residents.

However, our fight for a better and healthier environment is not over. We must continue fighting AQMD and demand that it put air-quality monitoring devices around the perimeter of not just the Tesoro refinery in Carson but refineries everywhere because everyone deserves clean air.

*Original letter online at http://www.dailybreeze.com/opinion/20170720/in-tesoro-refinery-agreement-carson-succeeds-where-aqmd-failed-guest-commentary