Modified Hydrofluoric Acid (MHF) is a highly toxic chemical in use at the Torrance Refinery. Its characteristics are such that, if released, it can form a ground hugging cloud that can spread great distances and cause serious injuries or even deaths. While I have confidence that PBF Energy (the company which recently purchased the refinery from Exxon-Mobil) and its workers can improve the refinery’s safety record, I don’t have confidence in the safety of this chemical.
Since the major refinery explosion of February 18, 2015, a “near miss” according to the US Chemical Safety Board, one of the preeminent issues in the City has been the continued use of MHF. While I have personally held the position for some time that we should transition to a safer alternative, I feel the time has come for the City of Torrance to take a position.
For this reason, at last Tuesday night’s Council meeting, with the support of Councilmember Weideman, I introduced a resolution calling for the phasing out of Modified Hydrofluoric Acid. This resolution will be brought back for the Council to discuss and vote on at the March 28th meeting. As always, the public is welcome to attend.