Court Protects MHF Documents for Big Oil

NEWS FLASH! A court order has been issued, responding to a May 2017 DoJ Petition to enforce U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) subpoenas for information on the 2015 Torrance explosion. The court DENIED virtually every request related to the modified hydrofluoric acid (MHF) unit, needed to determine the causes and potential consequences of the NEAR MISS on a tank with 50,000 lb. MHF on 2/18/2015. Most other requests were approved. http://bit.ly/2zELAj9  Here’s the DoJ petition: http://bit.ly/2pPOFqs 

Thus government shields industry’s dirty secret: MHF is as deadly as hydrofluoric acid (HF). TRAA’s Science Advisory Panel has proven it, and the CSB, EPA, and South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) acknowledge it in “preliminary” comments. Yet there’s no official announcement. If MHF were officially recognized as a fraud now, the surge in public awareness and anger could lead to a successful ban. So government is being coerced by industry to delay while the clock runs out on Rule 1410 and AB 1645 to ban MHF.

If industry succeeds, MHF will return to being a hidden deadly risk until exposed by another accident, possibly a deadly one. MHF must be banned BEFORE a disaster, not AFTER. Refuse to be complacent. Do what you can, no matter how small… We have 3-6 months left to act. 

We suggest: Volunteer to canvass in your neighborhood (Contact: TRAASouthBay at gmail.com). Visit TRAASouthBay.com to sign up for our twice a month newsletter and to send letters of support on Rule 1410 and AB 1645, to sign the petition, and to learn more. If nothing else, donate. For more on what can be done: http://bit.ly/2qaFuCp

TRAA Meets with CA Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia

This past week, TRAA met with Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, (who represents the 58th District of California: Bell Gardens, Pico Rivera, Downey, Cerritos, etc) as part of TRAA’s campaign to win support for a ban on MHF by means of AQMD Rule 1410 and AB 1645. TRAA presented information about the dangers of MHF and the achievements of TRAA. Assemblywoman Garcia, who has a strong environmental record was supportive and offered invaluable advice in campaigning for this issue. She joins a growing list of community leaders who understand the importance of banning this deadly chemical.

If you would like to join future visits to elected officials, business and community leaders come to the Monday night meeting and get involved. If Cristina Garcia is your Assemblywoman and you would like to reiterate the message TRAA presented, you may message her directly here.

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Another Victory!

But we still have a lot of work ahead of us….

Governor Jerry Brown signed 3 of Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi’s Refinery Safety bills. It is a bittersweet moment. These bills sailed through. But CA politicians sat on Muratsuchi’s AB 1645 to BAN modified hydrofluoric acid (MHF) alkylation. Unfortunately, we may not get the region-wide sectored siren system needed to warn of a significant MHF release. Official EPA risk reports for MHF remain unrevised, despite EPA acknowledgement that they’re wrong. It’s up to the community to fight for AB 1645 and for an interim warning system that’s adequate. AB 1645 will be up for consideration by January 2018 in Quirk’s Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee. Click here and scroll down to send letters to the AQMD board on Rule 1410 to ban MHF. We are planning a similar capability for AB 1645 in the near future. Come to TRAA’s meeting this Monday, 6pm. Torrance Sizzler at 2880 Sepulveda.

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TRAA Begins Major Effort to Canvass South Bay Communities

Dear Fighters for a Safe Community,

We are at the beginning of a major effort to increase awareness of the dangers of Modified Hydrofluoric Acid (MHF) at the Torrance and Wilmington refineries.  This will be a multi-pronged approach, beginning with canvassing our South Bay communities starting Saturday, October 7.  

Canvassing is the single most effective effort to grow this movement: person-to-person contact.  Past experience has proven the reception we get is overwhelmingly positive, yielding many new supporters.  And why wouldn’t it?  We are neighbors informing neighbors of an unknown safety hazard and they are grateful to find out about it, and also learn how they can help get rid of it.

We need to greatly increase the numbers of people who become active on this issue to counter the oil industry’s lobbying efforts.  Once people know about this issue, they support a ban on MHF.  It’s just that simple.  We just need to reach them. Even now, most people are not aware of the risks we face living and working in the South Bay due to MHF.   This means most people we come across will belong to our target audience!

Anyone can do canvassing – we provide the training, materials, and a walking assignment that works for you.  And we also arrange it so those who are new can walk with someone who has experience at it.  The basics are enough when doing door-to-door, because we have plenty of resources online that provide the details, and also have a newsletter that can keep them up to date on our efforts and ways they can help.

We are canvassing on October 7 and 8 (Sat/Sun) and again on October 14 and 15 (Sat/Sun).   Please sign up for a canvassing shift on one of these days by emailing peterburgis@outlook.com with the day and time you can volunteer (2 to 3 hour time block).  Based on the response that we get, we will be able to plan the walking assignments.  Please reply by October 1 so that we can have enough time to make the arrangements.

We are canvassing on the following dates and times:

  • Sat Oct 7 10am-1pm
  • Sat Oct 7   1pm-4pm
  • Sun Oct 8 11am-2pm
  • Sun Oct 8   2pm-5pm
  • Sat Oct 14 10am-1pm
  • Sat Oct 14  1pm-4pm
  • Sun Oct 15  11am-2pm
  • Sun Oct 15   2pm-5pm

We are also in need of canvassing coordinators – volunteers who are willing to help organize the canvassing event they’re participating in (distributing the materials, helping with the training, etc).  If you want to step up for that, please indicate that inyour email.

The more people volunteers who participate, the more we can do! We are excited to get this leg of canvassing started!