By Al Sattler, Group Chair
A crucial meeting of the AQMD Board will be held Friday morning Feb. 1 in Diamond Bar. We need as many people as possible to attend this meeting to tell the board that we want the local refineries to stop using hydrofluoric acid (HF) and “modified” hydrofluoric acid (MHF). If you can attend, email Steve Dillow <firstname.lastname@example.org> . He will send a list to those interested in carpooling so you can make arrangements.
Most of the area from Torrance to Carson, from Wilmington to Long Beach, and all the beach cities could be at risk with a major leak of toxic, volatile hydrofluoric acid, HF, from the Torrance PBF or Wilmington Valero refineries, depending on wind direction.We want safety for the workers, our children, our schools, our homes, our workplaces.
There is no need for refineries to close or for workers to lose their jobs. We are simply asking that the refineries convert their processes to avoid using deadly hydrofluoric acid.
The most recent plan from the AQMD staff is to require the refineries to quickly install mitigation measures that can be installed within a year, enough to maybe capture a small release of HF, and to have some chance of reducing fatalities from a large release of HF.
Then the refineries would be given a choice: Either
1) phase out use of HF within four years, or
2) Install a lot more “mitigation” measures, and do testing to determine whether HF can be used in refineries safely. If the refineries cannot show that HF can be used safely, then they would be required to phase out HF. However, with Option 2, the refineries could still be using HF until 2029 (10 more years!!), even if they cannot show that it is safe to use it.
The only way to make our communities safe from HF is have it gone as soon as possible.