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Flaring event at California’s Torrance refinery

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

The Torrance Refining Company experienced a flaring event on the afternoon of 11 July, according to local news sources.

The flaring at the facility, formerly owned by ExxonMobil, was a result of one of the refinery's hydrogen plants breaking down, Torrance Refining Company Spokeswoman Gesuina Paras told local reporters.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District was notified of the event at approximately 1.10 pm. “In addition, we subsequently notified the California Office of Emergency Services at approximately 2.05 pm that we believe the refinery may have exceeded the reportable quantity of 500 lb for sulfur dioxide,” Paras said.

Paras further noted that flaring is an environmentally approved measure to “safely and effectively destroy virtually all the hydrocarbons the refinery is unable to process during a unit upset, for example. This is necessary in order to make the equipment safe for personnel to work on it.”

The Torrance Fire Department was sent to the site after the flare began to issue thick black smoke, however Department Chief Bob Millea noted that air monitoring tests showed no unusual readings, and no offsite impact.

Edited from various sources by Rosalie Starling

Sources: Patch, The Daily Breeze

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