Making Torrance oil refinery safe begins with openness: Editorial

The Torrance City Council declined to take a hard-line stance earlier this week against the problem-plagued refinery, instead adopting a resolution that supports safety improvements but does not endorse a phase-out of dangerous hydrofluoric acid.
Torrance City Councilman Tim Goodrich, who supported a tougher stand, called the final action “a milquetoast resolution” but said it was better than nothing.
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Torrance council called ‘spineless’ for tepid stand on oil refinery safety

Councilman Tim Goodrich decried the weak message elected officials had sent ahead of a Saturday hearing by the South Coast Air Quality Management District board to address the series of equipment failures and excessive flaring at the refinery.
In what was a largely symbolic resolution anyway, Goodrich and Councilman Kurt Weideman wanted tougher language that specifically mentioned the threat from the potentially fatal acid and called for its eventual removal from the plant.
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Torrance City Council votes against banning toxic hydrofluoric acid at refinery

"Obviously, I'm disappointed," Goodrich said after the council meeting. "I thought this was an opportunity to provide some guidance to regulators.
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‘Damning’ EPA report on Torrance refinery uncovers more serious safety issues

“The revelations detailed in the EPA report underscore how dangerous modified hydrofluoric acid is, which is why we need a transition to a safer alternative,” he said.
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Showdown: Torrance decides Tuesday whether to take a stand against refinery

From the perspective of Councilman Tim Goodrich, who proposed the symbolic City Council resolution backing an HF ban, the timing of the two meetings couldn’t be better. He’s hoping a united council sends a message to the AQMD ahead of its Torrance meeting.
“I see this as relaying our concern to the regulatory agencies that are in charge, so when they evaluate (the new rule) they can take that into account,” Goodrich said.
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Is Torrance changing its tune on refinery safety?

Indeed, during the same meeting, Councilman Tim Goodrich took the major step of introducing a resolution expressing city support for the AQMD’s proposed HF ban, much as the county Board of Supervisors did earlier this week.
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County joins political efforts to ban toxic chemical from refineries in Torrance and Wilmington

“The time has come that the city of Torrance takes an official position on these items and weigh in,” said Councilman Tim Goodrich, who proposed the resolution. “It’s time for us to use this agenda item as an opportunity to provide feedback to the AQMD and our representatives.”
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Will spending more money and hiring more workers improve Torrances emergency notification system?

“It has been a year and a half now, we’ve had numerous instances where we’ve had to really test the system in action and we still haven’t gotten it right,” he added. “If we don’t get this right soon the public is going to lose faith in the system. ... I really hope it works because at some point we’ve got to have some accountability on this.”




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Torrance budget boasts new city programs for first time in 8 years

The city put fresh asphalt on an unprecedented 11 million square feet of roads in the past year with the goal of reducing the repair and maintenance cycle from 10 to 14 years to five to seven, officials said.
Nevertheless, the backlog of roads that needed work was reduced only “a little bit.”
That wasn’t good enough for Councilman Tim Goodrich, who said he wanted to see more money spent on roads, saying it is still the top complaint he hears from residents. 
“We still have a number of major streets that are clearly deficient,” he said. “We’re basically just treading water and not making the headway that we need to be.”
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