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Congressman Ted Lieu

Representing the 33rd District of California

TOMORROW: PRESS CONFERENCE WITH REP. TED LIEU & U.S. CHEMICAL SAFETY BOARD CHAIR VANESSA SUTHERLAND.

January 12, 2016
Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MEDIA ADVISORY:
PRESS CONFERENCE WITH REP. TED LIEU & U.S. CHEMICAL SAFETY BOARD CHAIR VANESSA SUTHERLAND

Tomorrow, Lieu and CSB Chair Sutherland will meet with the press before start of public meeting at Torrance City Hall
to discuss CSB's current findings regarding ExxonMobil Refinery Investigation

WHO:
Chairperson Vanessa Sutherland, Congressman Ted Lieu, Torrance Mayor Patrick J. Furey and community activists

WHAT:
Q&A with members of the press regarding ongoing investigation into safety violations at ExxonMobil’s Torrance refinery

WHEN:
4:15pm | Wednesday - January 13, 2016

WHERE:
Receiving Area in front of Torrance City Council Chambers
Torrance City Hall
3031 Torrance Blvd.
Torrance, CA 90503

More on Public Meeting

Tomorrow, January 13th, the Public Meeting will commence at 5pm at the Torrance City Hall Chamber.  The meeting will feature Congressman Lieu, Chair Sutherland, CSB investigators and representatives from the Torrance Refinery Action Alliance, California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA), California Environmental Protection Agency, Western States Petroleum Association, United Steelworkers (USW), and Blue Green Alliance.  The public meeting will allow citizens to learn about the investigation into ExxonMobil’s Torrance refinery, ask questions and discuss what can be done to enhance the safety of our community.

Background on ExxonMobil Refinery Investigation

ExxonMobil has been under investigation since an explosion on February 18, 2015 tore through the facility and launched a heavy piece of equipment within feet of the highly-toxic modified hydrofluoric acid (HF) tank, as well as spreading ash throughout the community.  Congressman Lieu and Congresswoman Waters formally requested a CSB investigation following the incident.  Six months later, Cal/OSHA fined ExxonMobil $566,600 with 19 separate citations, including 18 classified as “serious” and six characterized as, “willful because Cal/OSHA found that Exxon did not take action to eliminate known hazardous conditions at the refinery and intentionally failed to comply with state safety standards.”

Since the February explosion, several additional incidents have occurred at the Torrance refinery.  On September 6, the Torrance Fire Department reported a “significant incident” when a leak occurred of highly-toxic modified HF.  On October 23, a large steam cloud appeared above the refinery, the result of a leak that occurred in a pressurized eight-inch pipeline.  These incidents have underscored the dangers posed to the community by toxic chemicals, which ExxonMobil’s worst-case scenario estimates could imperil the lives of a quarter million people in Southern California.

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