Take Action to ban hydrofluoric acid in CA refineries - Please FWD
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As a critical and time-sensitive public safety issue, we call on California lawmakers to vote in favor of AB 1645 and AQMD Board Members to adopt Rule 1410 to BAN and REPLACE MHF and HF alkylation at California refineries. We recommend a deadline of 2022 for elimination of MHF/HF alkylation, to be replaced with an alternative of the refinery’s choice. Commercially available options include sulfuric acid, ionic liquid, and solid acid catalyst.
The industry is mounting massive lobbying and PR campaigns to thwart both efforts. Don’t listen to the industry’s misleading economic scare tactics. The community must rise up to show massive support for AB 1645 and Rule 1410. If we do, we can win this battle. We survived the Torrance refinery shut down; a MHF transition should be shorter and have less impact.
After signing this petition visit TRAASouthBay.com to send letters of support to the SCAQMD board and CA legislators and sign up for TRAA’s twice-a-month newsletter to COORDINATE with us and follow the news. For a lawn sign, write to LawnSigns@TRAASouthBay.com. You can donate online at TRAASouthBay.com. “LIKE” Torrance Refinery Action Alliance on Facebook and like and share our posts. fb.me/BanMHF Learn more on the website. TELL YOUR FRIENDS.
Come to a TRAA meeting to work with your neighbors on this cause, the 1st and 3rd Monday each month (except holidays) 6:00-8:00 p.m. Sizzler 2880 Sepulveda Blvd, Torrance. Back room. Or email TRAASouthBay@gmail.org to offer help.
ALERT: This affects residents in Torrance, Redondo Beach, Gardena, Carson, Lawndale, Hawthorne, Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, Wilmington, L.A., Lomita, Rolling Hills, San Pedro, Palos Verdes Estates, West Rancho Dominguez, and Long Beach, California.
During the February 18, 2015 explosion at the Torrance refinery, a flying 80,000 lb. piece of equipment slammed down at 60 MPH just 5 ft. from a tank with 50,000 lb. of modified hydrofluoric acid (MHF). Federal safety officials say the surrounding communities "dodged a bullet.” The Chemical Safety Board says that accident could have been catastrophic.
One of the world’s most dangerous industrial chemicals, hydrofluoric acid (HF), is used in massive quantities in only two California refineries, Torrance and the Valero in Wilmington. The eight other CA refineries with alkylation units use a much safer alternative — sulfuric acid. HF refineries claim an additive mixed in with the HF makes it safe. But with only one or two additive molecules per hundred molecules of MHF, it’s too little to make a difference.
“Modified” HF (MHF) is just as deadly as HF. If released, it forms a ground-hugging cloud that can drift for miles, causing death and injury. The refineries’ other mitigation measures, like water sprays and barriers, are also ineffective. Mass casualties can result from an MHF release — wind direction determines who dies.
The US EPA has conducted a preliminary investigation into MHF http://bit.ly/2poBJro. The AQMD has reviewed innumerable technical documents from the refineries. (Chart 5, http://bit.ly/2wBHeUh) Both this preliminary EPA inspection report and the initial AQMD staff recommendations were that MHF risk is assumed identical to HF risk. The US Chemical Safety Board and Department of Justice have sued ExxonMobil to get proprietary information on MHF.
The 2015 accident could have created an HF plume large enough to cause 16 miles of serious irreversible injuries. Death would be possible within the first 8 miles. In 2015 the air was moving to the WSW so the plume would have headed out to sea. People would have died all the way to the Redondo Beach pier. Twenty three schools lie within the main debris field left by the explosion. Even if emergency systems kept 90% of the tank’s acid from escaping, the remaining 5,000 lb. acid plume would have been large enough to kill people nearly all the way to the beach.
The EPA's, CSB’s, and AQMD’s MHF investigations are due to activism and scientific sleuthing by local residents, who joined forces in the Torrance Refinery Action Alliance (TRAA). Local scientists on our Advisory Panel discovered MHF is over 98% HF by molecule count and behaves exactly like HF at normal refinery operating temperatures and pressures. http://bit.ly/2p6dPCn The industry has been lying to us for 27 years. MHF is no safer than HF. Yet, industry is still lying.
It’s up to us, the residents. The South Bay must not accept the status of “sacrifice zone” to benefit PBF in Torrance and Valero in Wilmington, or to avoid a short one-time disruption during the transition. How much are more than a half-million Californians worth? See our website to write to legislators and AQMD board members. TRAASouthBay.org You can also call or fax!
California Governor Jerry Brown
Phone: (916) 445-2841
Fax: (916) 558-3160
California State Senator Ben Allen
Capitol Office (916) 651-4026
District Office (310) 318-6994
California State Senator Steven Bradford
Capitol Office (916) 651-4035
District Office (310) 514-8573
California State Assembly Al Muratsuchi
Capitol office (916) 319-2066
District Office (310) 375-0691
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