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On Wednesday, April 26, 2017, 9 a.m. at the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) Auditorium, 21865 Copley Drive, Diamond Bar, CA 91765, the SCAQMD Hearing Board will consider the Torrance Refining Company’s (TORC) petition for a short variance and alternative operating conditions related to a planned maintenance period (also known as Turnaround).
TORC is making every effort to minimize flaring that occurs during a Turnaround. As part of our goal during Turnaround, TORC is proactively seeking permission from the SCAQMD Hearing Board to install a temporary hydrogen vent, designed and built to industry standards, to safely vent clean excess hydrogen directly to the atmosphere rather than flare this hydrogen for approximately three weeks. Safely venting this clean hydrogen would not result in excess emissions to the atmosphere and would significantly minimize flaring emissions that could occur over the approximate three-week period if the TORC was required to flare the hydrogen.
Hydrogen venting is already permitted by the SCAQMD in at least one other refinery and at various hydrogen plants in Southern California.
At the April 26th hearing, TORC will have experts available to testify as to the safe design and safety features of the proposed hydrogen vent, and operational experience with safely operating hydrogen vents.
For more information about the April 26th hearing, please contact the SCAQMD Public Advisor at 909-396-2432 or by email at PublicAdvisor@aqmd.gov.
We are preparing to perform planned maintenance on several of our refinery units. This maintenance project, called a “turnaround,” will continue for several months. We will shut down equipment in a portion of the refinery for inspection, cleaning, any needed repairs and improvement.
Turnarounds are conducted in compliance with rigorous safety and environmental regulations to improve the refinery’s efficiency, ensure mechanical
integrity and meet regulatory obligations.
To aid us in safely completing this turnaround, we have hired approximately 1000 additional contractors who specialize in refinery maintenance. We are providing parking for these contractors on refinery property.
During the turnaround, you may notice:
- increased traffic during shift changes, between the hours of 4-7 a.m. and 4-7 p.m. We are coordinating with the Torrance Police Department to ensure adequate monitoring and traffic control.
- the use of our flare, which is an integral part of the refining process. The flare is a key safety device that ensures the safe combustion of excess, flammable gases. During shutdown and startup of units, you may see intermittent planned flaring. While flaring is a necessary and environmentally and technology sound safety measure, we will make every effort to minimize its use. The South Coast Air Quality Management District regulates the emissions from refinery flare systems. You may see “planned flaring” alerts issued, this is precautionary and does not
mean that we will actually flare.
We appreciate your patience and understanding as we complete this important work to support safe, reliable and environmentally responsible operations.
Questions? Call our 24-Hour Community Hotline at (310) 505-3158 or our Community Relations Department at (310) 212-1852, Monday–Friday, 8:00 a.m. –4:30 p.m.