A Torrance, Calif.-based petroleum refinery has agreed to pay $125,000 after violating the Clean Air Act’s Chemical Accident Prevention Program.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency settled with Torrance Refining Company LLC after discovering deficiencies in its chemical safety and risk management plan.
“It is critical for the refinery to maintain an up-to-date and accurate Risk Management Plan,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Mike Stoker in a statement. “These actions ensure that facilities handling dangerous materials are minimizing potential impacts to the environment and the surrounding community.”
During an EPA inspection, the agency found that Torrance Refining failed to properly conduct a hazard assessment, did not document equipment repairs and failed to follow emergency operating procedures.
Torrance Refining has corrected the violations and has agreed to install a new automated water system to mitigate potential releases at its largest modified hydrofluoric acid tank, according to the agency. The refinery also will spend $219,000 to enhance chemical safety features.
PBF Energy purchased Torrance Refining in July 2016. The refinery is located on 700 acres just 45 minutes outside of Los Angeles.
The facility employs 600 workers and 300-500 contractors who produce 1.8 billion gallons of gasoline per year, or 10% of the gasoline demand in California, according to the company's website.
"The Clean Air Act’s Risk Management Program requires facilities with significant quantities of toxic substances to develop and implement a chemical accident prevention or risk management program," the EPA stated.
Facilities are required to update and resubmit their risk management plans at least once every five years. The agency uses the plans to assess chemical risk in surrounding communities in the event of an emergency.