Friday, September 23, 2016

Honeywell, the manufacturer of the hydrofluoric acid used at PBF Torrance Refinery,
have announced a replacement is available for HF. Chevron has developed the
technology and will make the switch from HF.  No mention in the press release
of PBF Energy or ExxonMobil on making the switch.  And the flaring continues in Torrance
this morning.

John Bailey, President
Southeast Torrance Homeowners’ Association, Inc. (SETHA)



Honeywell UOP Introduces Ionic Liquids Alkylation Technology: UOP News Release

o   First successful liquid alkylation technology in 75 years to produce high-octane fuel blending component for cleaner-burning fuels
o   Chevron to convert existing hydrofluoric acid alkylation unit to ionic liquids
DES PLAINES, Ill., Sept. 22, 2016 - Honeywell (NYSE: HON) UOP announced today that it has introduced to the refining industry a new alkylation technology developed by Chevron U.S.A. Inc., a subsidiary of Chevron Corp.(NYSE: CVX), that employs ionic liquids as a catalyst to produce high-octane motor fuels.
Chevron licensed the technology to Honeywell UOP, which will offer the technology under the ISOALKY™ brand name as an alternative to traditional technologies that use hydrofluoric or sulfuric acids as a liquid alkylation catalyst.
“Ionic liquids alkylation offers a compelling economic solution compared to conventional liquid acid technologies while delivering the same yields and high levels of octane,” said Mike Millard, vice president and general manager of Honeywell UOP’s Process Technology and Equipment business. “This is a revolutionary new technology for refiners to produce alkylate and improve thequality of their gasoline pool.”
The ISOALKY technology is the first successful liquid alkylation technology to be introduced in 75 years. Chevron proved the technology in a small demonstration unit at its Salt Lake City refinery, where it has operated successfully for five years.
Earlier this week, Chevron committed to convert its hydrofluoric acid (HF) alkylation unit in Salt Lake City to ISOALKY technology. Construction is expected to commence in 2017, pending permit approvals, with the ISOALKY technology becoming fully operational in 2020. As part of this project, the refinery’s HF-specific equipment and its inventory of hydrofluoric acid will be permanently removed.
This new technology uses a non-aqueous liquid salt, or ionic liquid, at temperatures below 100ÂșC to convert a typical stream from a fluid catalytic cracker into a valuable high-octane blending component that lowers the environmental impact of motor gasoline.
Among the other benefits of this technology, the ionic liquids process can be used in new refineries, as well as existing facilities undergoing capital expansion. It can produce alkylate from a wider range of feedstocks using alower volume of catalyst. This liquid catalyst has a negligible vapor pressure and can be regenerated on-site, giving it a lower environmental footprint than other technologies.
Alkylation technologies are commonly used in the refining industry to produce high-octane gasoline blending components to make clean-burning fuels. Currently, the majority of alkylation processes use hydrofluoric or sulfuric acid processes that were developed by or in concert with UOP, and introduced between 1938 and 1942. Today, more than half of the world’s approximately 700 refineries currently have alkylation units that use hydrofluoric or sulfuric acid.
Ionic liquids have strong acid properties, enabling them to perform acid catalysis, but without the volatility of conventional acids. They represent the first new class of liquid alkylation technology since World War II. They are technically a salt in liquid state, comprised largely of ions that convert C4 paraffins and other olefins into an excellent gasoline-range blending product. Due to its low vapor pressure, ionic liquid requires simpler handling procedures than either sulfuric or hydrofluoric acids.
ISOALKY is a cost-effective solution for many refining companies that have expressed growing interest in the technology as an alternative to conventional liquid acid systems or recent solid catalyst systems to produce high-quality alkylate for clean-burning fuels.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Notification of Flaring Event at the Refinery

The AQMD has received a planned flare event notification at the refinery starting at 5 PM, Tuesday, September 20th
through Sunday, September 25, 2016.  Flaring may or may not occur during this period. 
This is the link to the AQMD website to file a complaint about a specific flaring incident.
You may also call 1-800-288-7664 to file a complaint.
John Bailey, President
Southeast Torrance Homeowners’ Association, Inc. (SETHA)

Planned Flare Event Notification
Received by South Coast Air Quality Management District
Flare event reported by:  Torrance Refinery Company (Refinery)
Location:  3700 190th St,
Breakdown:  No
Event Start Date/Time:  2016/09/20 05:00:00PM
Event End Date/Time:  2016/09/25 11:59:00PM
Estimated exceedances(s): SOx emitted > 500lbs.
Vent gas flow > 500,000 scf.
VOC emitted > 100 lbs.
For facility info 24/7:
AQMD Rule 1118 requires flare operators to notify AQMD of any flare event estimated to exceed
one or more of the following daily limits:

  • 500,000 standard cubic feet of vent gas combusted,
  • 100 pounds of VOC emitted, and/or
  • 500 pounds of oxides of sulfur emitted
Flare operators are required to notify AQMD of planned flare events at least 24 hours before the
start of the event.


  • Estimated flow/emissions may differ from actual flow/emissions,
  • Estimated end dates/times may differ from actual end dates/times.
* For additional details, click on
To notify AQMD of air quality problems call: 1-800-CUT-SMOG

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Why are Torrance refinery activists unhappy over long-awaited meeting Monday?

 This article will be in the Daily Breeze print edition on Thursday,
September 15th.  The link is at the bottom of the article.

John Bailey, President
Southeast Torrance Homeowners' Association, Inc. (SETHA)

By Nick Green, Daily Breeze

Posted: 09/14/16, 9:06 PM PDT | Updated: 1 min ago

Local activists concerned about a catastrophic release of toxic chemicals
from the Torrance refinery will finally get their wish Monday — a public
meeting in town with industry regulators.

But they’re pessimistic about how useful it will be.

Hoping for a dialogue so they can present technical information they believe
shows the risk of such a disaster is understated, the activists fear instead
they’ll be greeted with a PowerPoint dog-and-pony show with government
officials talking at them rather than with them.

The Environmental Protection Agency and South Coast Air Quality Management
District have scheduled the meeting from 10 a.m. to noon Monday at the Ken
Miller Recreation Center Auditorium in the Torrance Cultural Arts Center,
3330 Civic Center Drive.

Up for discussion is the Torrance refinery’s federally mandated Risk
Management Plan, which supposedly analyzes what could happen in a
worst-case-disaster scenario.

The EPA announced in December 2015 it had opened an investigation into
whether ExxonMobil, which then owned the refinery, had misrepresented the
risk of a disaster to the community involving highly toxic hydrofluoric

In the wake of a February 2015 explosion that crippled the plant, federal
regulators said only pure chance prevented a release of the acid that
creates a toxic cloud with the potential to kill or injure tens of

Kay Lawrence, chief of emergency prevention and preparedness, and Enrique
Manzanilla, Superfund division director for U.S. EPA Region 9 will discuss
Risk Management Plans (RMPs), said EPA spokeswoman Nahal Mogharabi.

“Kay will briefly give an overview of our investigation but won’t be able to
really discuss next steps or conclusions, as the enforcement investigation
is still ongoing,” Mogharabi said.

That lack of engagement is exactly what members of the Torrance Refinery
Action Alliance and Families Lobbying Against Refinery Exposures had sought
to avoid when they requested the meeting back in July.

“It’s infuriating,” said Torrance resident Catherine Leys, co-founder of
FLARE. “It’s going to be a presentation to the public rather than us voicing
our scientific concerns about a potentially flawed RMP.”

The meeting was scheduled by the AQMD officials, who also will make comments
and offer presentations, including one on the district’s study on possible
commercial alternatives to the use of HF.

Leys noted both agencies appear to communicate privately with ExxonMobil and
other companies they are supposed to be regulating, yet declined to give
TRAA or FLARE the same courtesy, saying that as a public agency the meeting
should be open to the public.

Fire Department and city of Torrance officials, who signed off on allowing a
reduction in the amount of an additive intended to make hydrofluoric acid
safer — but never disclosed that to the community — also will attend the

The meeting will be held in a large auditorium open to the public, not in a
small conference room as activists had hoped so they could share the highly
technical data they have uncovered.

Sally Hayati, president of TRAA, fears that will merely serve to “dilute the
message” activists want to communicate.

A retired rocket scientist, Hayati has spent hours pouring over voluminous
technical reports on her own time and consulted with a handful of industry
experts to reach the conclusion that the risk to local residents from the
refinery is understated, perhaps deliberately.

She has studied the RMPs for the Torrance refinery and Valero’s Wilmington
refinery, the only two in the state that still use HF, and discovered
discrepancies and inconsistencies between the two.

The two plans differ, for example, on the amount of HF each would release in
a worst-case disaster and how far the toxic cloud that would be produced
would travel.

And both plans appear to far understate the average toxic distance of the
cloud from the refinery that would cause deaths or irreversible injury in
comparison to disaster plans at other plants, reducing the scale of the
disaster, she said.

The plans are written by the owners of the refinery, who insist they have
followed EPA guidelines.

Experts in the field have previously cast doubt upon that.

“The EPA is basically letting them get away with it by not questioning their
reports,” Hayati said. “They don’t do any independent verification.

“We have evidence they did not develop a safe modified hydrofluoric acid or
even a less deadly modified hydrofluoric acid yet these reports are allowed
to be completely inaccurate,” she added. “It’s not clear to me (the EPA)
even understands what the issues are.”

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Weekly Crime Report for Southeast Torrance

This report is for Sunday, August 28, 2016 through Saturday, September 3, 2016.
42 incidents were reported to Torrance Police during the reporting week.
There were two in North Torrance and none in Southeast Torrance.
There were 10 in Torrance and 2 in Southeast Torrance.
8/30  10 PM to 8 31 7:49 AM   23700 Block Arlington Avenue
Vehicle window smashed for entry.  Sunglasses, Wallet, Coin Purse and Makeup stolen.
8/31 7:15 AM to 7:45 AM         2000 Block 237th Street
Unlocked vehicle.  Camera, Camera Equipment, Suitcase, Clothes, Toiletries, and Cash stolen.
Items stolen from other vehicles included yoga mat, eyeglasses, CD, table, wallet, cell phone,
backpack, checkbook, registration, cash, keys, and third row seats.
There were 9 stolen vehicles in Torrance and none in Southeast Torrance.
John Bailey, President
Southeast Torrance Homeowners’ Association, Inc. (SETHA)

Friday, September 9, 2016

Shots Fired in Lomita at LA County Sheriff Deputies

A 30-year-old man shot by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies Thursday
evening in Lomita fired his gun at law enforcement officers first, the
department said in a Friday morning statement.
The incident began when deputies attempted to stop a vehicle for traffic
violations in the area of Pacific Coast Highway and Pennsylvania Avenue.
The driver of the car failed to yield and attempted to drive away, the
statement said. As the fleeing driver drove into a parking lot of a business
in the 2400 block of Pacific Coast Highway, he lost control of his car and
crashed into a parked car, the statement said.
The driver exited his car while holding a handgun and ran into a liquor
store before emerging seconds later to shoot at the deputies, the statement

Deputies returned fire, striking the man.
The man, who was described as white, was transported to a local hospital
where he was treated for multiple gunshot wounds. He is expected to survive,
the statement said.
No deputies were injured. Deputies detained a 31-year-old woman after she
ran from the car.
The man’s handgun was recovered at the scene.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau detectives are
continuing their investigation of the incident.

Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact the Los
Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. To
remain anonymous, call “Crime Stoppers” by dialing 800-222-TIPS (8477), or
text the letters TIPLA plus your tip to CRIMES (274637), or visit the

Link to the Daily Breeze article:

John Bailey, President
Southeast Torrance Homeowners' Association, Inc. (SETHA)

Friday, September 2, 2016

AQMD Supports Residents Suggestions on How to Allocate the Refinery Fines

 ExxonMobil refinery fines earmarked for projects favored by residents

By Nick Green, Daily Breeze

Posted: 09/02/16, 8:04 PM PDT | Updated: 46 secs ago

Projects that monitor air quality around the Torrance refinery, improve the
emergency alert system or provide greater outreach to residents will receive
priority for almost $2.8 million in funding from the South Coast Air Quality
Management District.

The agency’s governing board approved issuing a request for proposals for
those kinds of projects at a meeting Friday in Diamond Bar.

Anyone can propose a potential project, said Chief Operating Officer Jill
Whynot in an interview after the meeting.

“We wrote the RFP very generally so we could basically consider any
suggestions community members may have,” she said. “There’s very little
restriction on the money. It just needs to be spent on projects that would
benefit the residents of this area.”

The deadline for proposals is 1 p.m. Nov. 2.

Details are available at the AQMD website at

The $2,7771,250 available comes from penalties ExxonMobil incurred in the
wake of a February 2015 refinery explosion and subsequent
dirtier-than-normal restart.

The announced prioritization of the money came as a relief to residents, who
feared the city might attempt to siphon off the funds for pet “green”

“Spending the funds to purchase electric vehicles for the city and solar
panel-covered parking at City Hall is stretching the stated intent of using
the funds to benefit the residents and provide projects that will result in
public health and quality-of-life-improvements,” said John Bailey, board
president of the Southeast Torrance Homeowners Association.

“We asked for a more robust siren alert system that could be heard in
Southeast Torrance because, if a major accident involved hydrofluoric acid,
it could impact our area,” he added. “SETHA residents cannot hear the siren
during the monthly testing.”

Still, Sally Hayati, president of the Torrance Refinery Action Alliance,
said the money and request for proposals were insufficient compensation for
the environmental harm the plant causes.

“Our community pays the price for excess emissions in short- and long-term
health impacts and in increased fear and worry,” she said. “As recompense,
the community is now being given less than $3 million worth of environmental
projects, without being given a direct say in how it is spent.

“Projects funded by these funds can’t repair health effects from excess
emissions that have occurred and won’t reduce future emissions,” she added.
“Only improved and rigorous enforcement of strict emissions standards can do
that, with far greater fines, other deterrence measures such as temporary
shutdowns, better enforcement budgets, and the political will to reduce

The AQMD’s governing board will decide what projects to fund at its January

However, more money for other projects also may be available.

The AQMD has $18.5 million in penalties imposed on ExxonMobil for excessive
flaring at the refinery over the past year.

If there is not enough money for proposed projects in the initial almost
$2.8 million, the other source could be tapped for eligible projects.

Still, Maureen Mauk, co-founder of Families Lobbying Against Refinery
Exposure, said the board’s decision Friday should be considered a victory
for local environmental activists.

“Over 40 FLARE members took the time to craft letters to the AQMD and attend
last week’s community roundtable discussions” hosted by the AQMD, she said.
“Progress can be made when the citizens come together at a grass-roots level
to initiate change.

“It will be imperative for the residents of Torrance and the South Bay
community to continue to keep pressure on those individuals and agencies
that we have empowered to ensure our safety and well-being,” she added.