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ExxonMobil Delays Startup of Torrance Refinery until Monday Night

May 6, 2016

SCAQMD Requires Re-Notification of Residents near Facility

ExxonMobil refinery officials informed the South Coast Air Quality Management District this afternoon that they plan to delay the startup of their Torrance refinery until Monday night, May 9. The restart was previously planned for this Saturday night.

In response to the delay SCAQMD officials have required the company to re-notify approximately 11,000 households and businesses within a one-mile radius of the facility with flyers delivered to each front door. Under an administrative order issued by SCAQMD’s Hearing Board last month, the flyers must be delivered at least 48 hours in advance of the restart period.

“We want to ensure that residents have adequate and proper notice of the rescheduled refinery restart,” said Wayne Nastri, acting executive officer for SCAQMD. “Meanwhile we will be monitoring air quality before, during and after the startup to assess any potential air pollution impacts in the community.”

Residents are encouraged to sign up for electronic TorranceAlerts to receive any further updates from the City of Torrance on the specific planned startup period.

Earlier this week, ExxonMobil informed residents through door hangers and TorranceAlerts that it planned to start up a key production unit between 7 p.m. Saturday, May 7 and 7 a.m. on Sunday, May 8. Refinery officials told SCAQMD on Friday afternoon that the restart was being postponed due to unexpected operational delays.

As a safety precaution, ExxonMobil will shut down a pollution control device for six hours during the 12-hour overnight period, from 7 p.m. on Monday, May 9 to 7 a.m. on Tuesday, May 10. The shutdown will result in up to 600 pounds of excess particulate emissions.

SCAQMD staff has conducted a detailed scientific analysis of the short-term excess emissions and do not expect it to expose residents to air quality levels that exceed health-based thresholds.

SCAQMD has created a dedicated web page for the ExxonMobil startup at http://www.aqmd.gov/home/regulations/compliance/exxonmobil-refinery. The site has an overview of the startup process and will include a detailed discussion of health risk impacts. Following the startup, it will also show the air monitoring results.

Residents can report air quality complaints such as odor, dust, smoke or other air contaminants to SCAQMD’s toll-free complaint line, 1-800-CUT-SMOG, or to its website at http://www.aqmd.gov/contact/complaints.

The SCAQMD is the air pollution control agency for Orange County and major portions of Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties.

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