January 1, 1970

Department of Public Health: Refinery Chemical Jeopardizes Health and Safety

The County’s public health experts have written a letter to the South Coast Air Quality Management District warning us that hydrofluoric acid threatens the lives of workers and residents alike in Torrance and Wilmington.

The only way to eliminate the risk to our community is to remove this chemical from our refineries. Anything less than that leaves these communities vulnerable.

I will continue to use my position on the SCAQMD to push for these chemicals to be removed. 

Excerpts from the Department of Public Health letter:

*A release of MHF… would be catastrophic, resulting in negative health impacts to hundreds of thousands, including potentially causing mass casualties, within 2 miles.

*There are no existing emergency plans in place to establish the preparedness of first responders and field medical treatment for a mass casualty incident from a release of MHF at these refineries.

*Adequate resources of local medical centers, including personnel and medications, have not been established to treat a mass casualty after a release of MHF at these refineries.

*Public Health and the County of Los Angeles Board of Supervisors have repeatedly provided clear and critical guidance to the SCAQMD regarding the necessary phase out of MHF to protect the public, refinery workers, and the environment. As the Los Angeles County Health Officer, I strongly recommend the SCAQMD Governing Board support a Rule that would require phase out of MHF. In the absence of such regulation, local refineries will continue to jeopardize the health and safety of workers and residents.

You can click here to read the letter sent by the Department of Public Health or read more about the community effort to remove this chemical from our neighborhoods here

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