TORRANCE, Calif. (FOX 11) - "It was a near miss." That's how the us chemical safety board describes the 2015 Torrance refinery explosion.
CSB chairwoman Vanessa Sutherland says "The 2015 explosion had the potential to be catastrophic."
Federal investigators released their findings into what caused the blow up which injured four workers, impacted the surrounding community and ultimately drove gas prices up -costing so cal drivers 2.4 billion dollars.
CSB's report cites numerous safety gaps in procedures as well as equipment being used past safe operating time.
Officials say debris nearly hit tanks carrying highly toxic hydrofluoric acid and says Exxon Mobil refused to cooperate with the investigation pertaining to safeguards in place preventing the release of the substance. The Torrance refinery action alliance says the refinery should be shut down until better safety systems are in place.
TRAA President Sally Hayati says "We are terrified in this community our lives depend on a release not happening."
Since the explosion Exxon Mobil sold the refinery to PBF Holdings company but there continue to be issues at the location.
The CSB doesn't have the authority to impose and enforce its safety recommendations but urges the state to make changes.
Torrance Refinery statement regarding the U.S. Chemical Safety Board’s report:
'The Torrance Refinery has already implemented a number of measures that address the U.S. Chemical Safety Board’s (CSB) recommendations in the report on the February 2015 Electrostatic Precipitator incident. We plan to complete two studies later this year that will address the remaining recommendations.
We have met with the CSB since acquiring the refinery and discussed with them the changes implemented at the refinery to further improve the safe, reliable and environmentally responsible operations at the facility.'
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