Jan 23, 2020

Refinery Reaches Settlement After Chemical & Risk Management Violations

Torrance Refining Company has reached a settlement agreement after chemical and risk management violations.

water quality monitoring

The U.S. EPA announced a settlement agreement with the Torrance Refining Company, which agreed to pay $125,000 in penalties for chemical safety and risk management violations.

The refinery has corrected the violations and will spend $219,000 on chemical safety features, reported NBC Los Angeles.

"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 inspection found that Torrance Refining violated the Clean Air Act's Chemical Accident Prevention Program, due to inaccuracies in its Risk Management Plan, including; failure to properly conduct a hazard assessment; failure to properly document repairs on equipment; and failure to follow emergency operating procedures.

Torrance Refinery agreed to install a new automated water system to mitigate potential releases at its largest modified hydrofluoric acid tank, reported NBC Los Angeles.

The Clean Air Act's Risk Management Program requires facilities with significant amounts of toxic substances to develop and implement a Chemical Accident Prevention or Risk Management Program. Risk management plans can only help prevent chemical releases and minimize potential impacts at facilities storing large amounts of hazardous substances and flammable chemicals if applied properly, however.

Facilities are required to update and resubmit risk management plans at least once every five years, according to NBC Los Angeles. The plans are used by EPA to identify chemical risks to surrounding communities and to prepare for emergency responses.

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