U.S. EPA Settlement with Southern California Refinery Improves Chemical Safety at Torrance Facility

Jan. 20, 2020
The refinery corrected the chemical safety violations and will pay $125,000 in penalties.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a settlement agreement with the Torrance Refining Company LLC over chemical safety and risk management violations. The refinery corrected the violations, will pay $125,000 in penalties, and will spend $219,000 to enhance chemical safety features at the refinery.  

“It is critical for the refinery to maintain an up-to-date and accurate Risk Management Plan,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Mike Stoker.  “These actions ensure that facilities handling dangerous materials are minimizing potential impacts to the environment and the surrounding community.”

An EPA inspection found that Torrance Refining violated the Clean Air Act’s Chemical Accident Prevention Program because of inaccuracies in their Risk Management Plan, including:

  • Failure to properly conduct a hazard assessment
  • Failure to properly document repairs on equipment
  • Failure to follow emergency operating procedures

As part of the settlement, the Torrance Refinery has agreed to install a new automated water system to mitigate potential releases at its largest modified hydrofluoric acid tank.

The Clean Air Act’s Risk Management Program requires facilities with significant quantities of toxic substances to develop and implement a Chemical Accident Prevention or Risk Management Program. When properly implemented, risk management plans help prevent chemical releases and minimize their potential impacts at facilities that store large amounts of hazardous substances and flammable chemicals. Facilities are required to update and resubmit their risk management plans at least once every five years. The plans are used by EPA to assess chemical risks to surrounding communities and to prepare for emergency responses.

For more information on the Risk Management Plan requirements under the Clean Air Act, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/rmp.

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