Supervisor Hahn Responds to SCAQMD Vote to Drop Phase-out of MHF

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 6, 2019
Contact: Liz Odendahl lodendahl@bos.lacounty.gov
o: (213) 974-4444 c: (213) 379-6301

Supervisor Hahn Disappointed in SCAQMD Vote to Allow Refineries Continued Use of Deadly Chemical in Torrance and Wilmington 

Diamond Bar, CA— Today, Supervisor Janice Hahn is speaking out against the SCAQMD Governing Board’s decision to drop their pursuit of a rule that would phase out and ban the use of deadly Modified Hydrofluoric Acid (MHF) at local refineries.  Refineries had proffered a series of voluntary safety measures in exchange for the Board dropping the rulemaking process as well as dropping pursuit of a possible MOU.

Supervisor Janice Hahn voted no on the refineries’ proposal. She maintains that removing MHF is the only way to remove risk from the communities she represents.  The proffer accepted today offers no accountability and no assurances that any of it will actually be implemented.

“I am disappointed in this vote. This chemical is deadly and it is a constant threat. The refineries should implement every safety measure possible – but they will fail in the event of a major earthquake, explosion, or attack.  I am angry on behalf of the residents I represent, and I will continue to fight for this dangerous chemical to be removed from our refineries.”

Modified Hydrofluoric Acid is used in just two refineries in California: the Torrance Refinery and the Valero Refinery in Wilmington.

Liz Odendahl
Communications Director
LA County Supervisor Janice Hahn

Refineries quietly try to end Hydrogen Fluoride (HF) regulation on Friday, 9/6/19

The two refineries using “modified” Hydrogen Fluoride (HF) in California are quietly trying to escape from further regulation of HF by offering to add more water sprays, sensors, and barriers.   But they would only agree to do this do this if the AQMD agrees not to do any further regulation of HF in their refineries.

These two letters are hidden at the end of the otherwise routine Minutes from the Refinery Committee meeting of June 22.  The AQMD Board will be voting on this Friday morning at their Diamond Bar headquarters.

We need you to be there to tell the AQMD Board not to allow this, to continue with developing a Rule 1410 to ban MHF.

To read the minutes and the letters from the refineries, see
page 11 in the meeting agenda: http://www.aqmd.gov/docs/default-source/Agendas/Governing-Board/2019/2019-sep6-017.pdf?sfvrsn=6

When:

9 am Friday September 6

Where:

South Coast Air Quality Management District Auditorium
21865 Copley Drive
Diamond Bar, CA 91765


Carpools:  You are welcome to join carpools to the AQMD meeting.  We will be meeting at Columbia Park in Torrance, Prairie just north of 190th,  leaving at 6:45 am.

More comments:
Water sprays, sensors, and barriers would help control small to medium-sized leaks of HF, but not unexpected catastrophic releases.  The only way to be sure that there will be no massive release of HF is not to have it in our communities.  The Wilmington Valero refinery would make changes sometime in the future.  The Torrance Refinery changes seem mostly intended to protect against a rerun of the 2015 explosion.

We are not demanding that the refineries close.  There are alternative refining methods that would allow the refineries to stay open but get rid of HF.

There is no way to know whether HF has leaked into surrounding communities, since the refineries do not have fenceline monitors.

Long Beach Mayor Garcia Urges SCAQMD to Begin Immediate Phase Out HF

Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia has sent a letter to the SCAQMD urging that the SCAQMD “take steps that ensures that proposed Rule 1410 addresses our concerns and begins the phase-out process of MHF immediately.”

Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia has sent a letter to the SCAQMD urging that the SCAQMD “take steps that ensures that proposed Rule 1410 addresses our concerns and begins the phase-out process of MHF immediately.”

MRG-re.-Rule-1410-AQMD-6-2019

Click here to download.

SCAQMD Rule 1410 Refinery Committee Meeting

The SCAQMD Rule 1410 Refinery Committee Meeting is 6/22 in Diamond Bar at 10 am. Join our caravan to the event or ride the bus.

JOIN THE CARAVAN TO THE SCAQMD
RULE 1410 REFINERY COMMITTEE MEETING ON
SATURDAY, JUNE 22ND

Meeting Starts @ 10AM

Transportation will be provided but you
must RSVP by Tuesday, June 18th to secure your seat.

Gather at Wilson Park in Torrance
or
the Wilmington Senior Center

Leave time is 8:30am, respectively.
Coffee, pastries and fruit will be provided.

RSVP mjohnson@bos.lacounty.gov &
cc: info@traasouthbay.com

As always, please reach out with any questions you may have.
info@traasouthbay.com

Call to Action: Urge Gov. Newsom to Protect Our Community

Gov. Newsom will soon appoint a new member of the SCAQMD Governing Board. Urge him to select someone who will prioritize our community.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District is the government body responsible for ensuring that the air quality is protected for significant portions of Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles counties. It is managed by a Governing Board consisting of 13 representatives. There is currently one vacancy on the board, and that position is appointed by the governor.

We encourage you to contact Governor Newsom’s office and urge him to appoint somebody who will prioritize protecting the community from pollution, from catastrophic accidents as well as continual low-level air pollution.

Gov. Newsom Contact Information:

Link to Email him:
https://govapps.gov.ca.gov/gov40mail/

Phone: (916) 445-2841
Fax: (916) 558-3160

Mailing address:

Governor Gavin Newsom
1303 10th Street, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814


Possible Messages:

  • “M”HF puts hundreds of thousands of people at risk of death or serious injury.
  • Two local refineries use tons of it.
  • Refineries could not contain a major release.
  • People could not evacuate.
  • Nearby people would have no warning, could not Shelter In Place.
  • Medical facilities and emergency responders are not prepared to cope with a major “M”HF release.
  • Get “M”HF out of our communities.

Call to Action: Request AQMD Committee Meeting to be Held in South Bay

The AQMD is tentatively planning the next Refinery Committee Meeting in Diamond Bay. Urge the AQMD to assist local residents to be heard by holding the meeting in the South Bay.

The AQMD is tentatively planning the next Refinery Committee Meeting in Diamond Bar instead of the South Bay. That plan will make it much harder for local residents to be heard.

Call the Committee Chair, Larry McCallon at 909-864-6861 ext 302 and request that the Refinery Committee Meeting be held in the South Bay, not in Diamond Bar.

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