CA Refinery Leak Simple Maintenance

Wednesday, June 5, 2019 @ 01:06 PM gHale

A hydrogen line being cleaned during maintenance ended up being reported as a leak at the Torrance Refining Company in Torrance, CA, fire officials said.

An employee at the facility “released a coupling” on the line too early, which allowed the substance that was left over in the line to escape, said Assistant Fire Chief Carl Besanceney of the Torrance Fire Department.

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He said the line “made a loud hissing noise” and activated ground monitors at the plant.

Torrance firefighters responded and cleared the area. The incident was over in about 15 minutes.

The leak posed no danger to the public, Besanceney said.

“This was nothing,” he said. A spokeswoman for Torrance Refinery Co. also described the leak as minor.

The Torrance Police Department published an alert about the brief leak on its Facebook page on Sunday.

There were no “off-site impacts” from the leak, police said.

The refinery, sold by Exxon Mobil to PBF Energy following an explosion in 2015, has been the site of several recent leaks and flares. The explosion and ongoing issues at the refinery have led to intense community interest in and criticism of how the facility has been operated.

Last November, flames were seen at the refinery after a malfunctioning valve led to an unplanned flare, the fire department said at the time.

In January, the South Coast Air Quality Management District said in a statement at the time its workers responded to a hydroflouric acid leak at the refinery that lasted for four minutes. The leak was described as minor. Torrance firefighters also responded to that leak.

On Friday, Torrance police reported an unplanned flare at the refinery.



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