Torrance Refinery

Updated March 10, 2017

Recent and Upcoming Activities

RFP Schedule NEW
Please be advised that the schedule for SCAQMD Governing Board consideration of proposals has been postponed.  Updated information will be available shortly.  Notifications will be sent if there are future updates and/or changes to the schedule.   

If you have questions, please contact the Public Advisor at 909-396-2432 or by email at publicadvisor@aqmd.gov  

SCAQMD Governing Board Chairman William Burke, Ed.D. to Chair Hearing on Torrance Refining Co., April 1, 2017

Stipulated Order for Abatement and Findings and Decision of the Hearing Board, (PDF, 1.8MB) February 15 and 16, 2017

Press Release: SCAQMD Calls for Special Hearing to Discuss Concerns about Repeated Incidents at Torrance Refinery, February 19, 2017

Compliance


Update: Saturday evening, Feb. 18

SCAQMD inspectors were at the Torrance refinery all day Saturday investigating the incident. A fire started about 6:00 am today in equipment related to the crude unit. Flaring was required but the refinery continued operations.  The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

The South Coast Air Quality Management District dispatched field inspection staff this morning to the Torrance Refining Co. in response to a fire at the refinery.

The refinery has reported the following:

At approximately 6:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 18, 2017, the Torrance Refinery experienced a localized fire in a process area.

Plant personnel quickly contained and extinguished the fire, working with Torrance Fire Department (TFD) who responded to the site. The Del Amo Street Barriers were activated under an abundance of caution.

All safety systems at the refinery operated properly and all personnel are safe and accounted for, with no injuries or offsite impact.

The incident has been reported to appropriate agencies including the South Coast Air Quality Management District, Torrance Fire Department, California Office of Emergency Services, and we continue to work with these agencies.

The cause of the incident is currently under investigation.

Other than the affected unit, the refinery continues to operate.

SCAQMD will post additional updates to this website as warranted.

Press Release: Torrance Refinery Agrees to Take Steps to Improve Power Reliability, Reduce Flaring, February 16, 2017

Hearing Board Proceedings


Hearing on Petition for Order for Abatement, Regarding Torrance Refinery 

On October 21, 2016, the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) filed a stipulated petition for an administrative order, known as an Order for Abatement, against the Torrance Refining Company, LLC (“TORC”).  SCAQMD alleges that TORC’s flaring event at its Torrance refinery after an October 11, 2016 power outage, and the resulting impact to the surrounding community, caused a public nuisance.  SCAQMD seeks to require TORC to take certain measures to minimize the potential for future public nuisance events associated with power supply interruptions.  These measures include evaluation of TORC’s critical safety and utility systems, improvements based on those evaluations, and evaluation of proposed upgrades to TORC’s electrical distribution network design.  

On Wednesday, February 15 and 16, 2017, the Hearing Board of the SCAQMD held public hearings on the proposed Stipulated Order for Abatement.  The Stipulated Order for Abatement was approved by the Hearing Board on February 16, 2017. 

Link to Proposed Findings, Decision, and Order for Torrance Refinery, Case no. 6060-5 (PDF, 5MB)
Link to Petition-Order for Abatement Stipulated for Torrance Refinery Oct 2016 (PDF, 193K)    

These legal proceedings are open to the public.  Information on the Hearing Board is located at: www.aqmd.gov/home/about/hearing-board

For more information, please contact the Public Advisor at 909-396-2432 or by email at publicadvisor@aqmd.gov.

P2017-06 - RFP for Supplemental Environmental Project Fund -- ExxonMobil Settlement


On September 2, 2016, the SCAQMD released P2017-06 - RFP for Supplemental Environmental Project Fund -- ExxonMobil Settlement.  The closing date for proposals was November 2, 2016, at 1:00 pm.  

RFP Schedule NEW 


Please be advised that the schedule for SCAQMD Governing Board consideration of proposals has been postponed.  Updated information will be available shortly.  Notifications will be sent if there are future updates and/or changes to the schedule.   

If you have questions, please contact the Public Advisor at 909-396-2432 or by email at publicadvisor@aqmd.gov.  

Past Meetings Related to RFP P2017-06:

On Wednesday, August 24, 2016, SCAQMD held a community meeting to solicit ideas from community members and other stakeholders on the use of ExxonMobil settlement monies for project(s) that provide public health and quality of life improvements. A wide variety of ideas and input was received from the community on topics such as the type and location of projects; proposal evaluation criteria; and other considerations for proposed RFP.

On September 21, 2016, the SCAQMD held a Bidder's Conference and Office Hours for RFP P2017-06.

 

Alyklation Technology Study

 

On September 15, 2016, the SCAQMD released the Norton Engineering Alkylation Technology Study. This study reviews and evaluates options for replacing HF Alkylation units at refineries in the SCAQMD's jurisdiction.  Below is a quick link to the study:

Alkylation Technology Study

For more information, please contact the Public Advisor at 909-396-396-2432 or by email at publicadvisor@aqmd.gov.

Events related to FCCU startup

Air Monitoring

SCAQMD conducted an air monitoring assessment during the startup processes of the Torrance Refinery FCCU on September 23, 2016 using a combination of measurement methods to assess pollutants of primary concern (PM, H2S, HCN, Benzene and other pollutants) in the adjacent areas of the facility and downwind.  Measurement efforts focused on near real-time continuous monitors for gradient measurements.  The survey field measurements (PM, H2S, HCN, and benzene) showed levels that did not exceed health protective thresholds for short term exposures. 

Four canister samples were also collected for a more thorough laboratory analysis during the startup event (see Table below). Analysis using EPA Method TO-15 for air toxics was performed on these samples and, overall, the results are within the expected range for the South Coast Basin. One of the four samples (# 1627009-02) detected the presence of acetonitrile at a concentration of 0.67 µg/m3; acetonitrile was not detected in the other three samples. The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment currently does not have an established Reference Exposure Level for either short-term nor long-term exposure to acetonitrile in ambient air. However, for long-term exposures to acetonitrile, the U.S. EPA established a Reference Concentration for this compound (RfC = 60 µg/m3), meaning that continuous exposures to acetonitrile at levels below the RfC over a lifetime would likely be without an appreciable risk of adverse health effects.

Lab ID*  Sample Location  Date/Time 
 1626738-01  W. 190th St. & Crenshaw Blvd.  09/23/16 14:12
 1626738-02  Haas Ave/W 190th St  09/23/16 15:14
 1627009-01  Ermanita/98th Ave (Background)  09/23/16 10:54
 1627009-02  Crenshaw – West of Flare  09/23/16 12:55

*Click on the Lab IDs to view the analysis results 

On September 26, 2016, two monitors were deployed for temporary monitoring of particulate matter (both PM2.5 and PM10) and the results are published at https://xappprod.aqmd.gov/smsdatasite  (NOTE: select the ExxonMobil monitoring sites from the Monitoring Sites drop-down in the upper right corner of the screen to view the results).