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Feds fine California refinery $125,000 for safety violations

TORRANCE, Calif. — Federal officials have fined a Southern California refinery $125,000 for chemical safety and risk-management violations, according to a newspaper report.

The violations stem from a 2016 investigation into Torrance Refinery, which found equipment designed to help contain an accidental release of toxic hydrofluoric acid remained broken for weeks, the Daily Breeze reported Monday.

The refinery south of Los Angeles has corrected all the violations, the Environmental Protection Agency said in its statement announcing the fine.

Refinery owner PBF Energy has agreed to spend $219,000 to enhance chemical safety features at the plant, including installing a new automated water system designed to inhibit the formation of any toxic cloud created by an accidental release of hydrofluoric acid, the newspaper said.

Abena Williams, spokeswoman for the plant, said that some of the investigation’s findings predate PBF Energy’s ownership.

The company agreed to the settlement “so that we can focus on running the Torrance Refinery in a safe, reliable and environmentally responsible manner,” Williams said via email.

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