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Hydrofluoric Acid

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 22, 1988 | GEORGE STEIN, Times Staff Writer
The danger of an accidental release of hydrofluoric acid, which some environmentalists say could be as extreme as that of India's Bhopal disaster, can be greatly reduced by the costly installation of a system of fog-nozzle showers and pumps, according to preliminary results from an industry-sponsored testing program here. Ronald Koopman, a Lawrence Livermore Laboratory scientist who is directing the closely watched $3.
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NATIONAL
March 22, 2009 | Times Wire Reports
A tractor-trailer carrying a dangerous acid overturned on a highway north of Philadelphia, prompting authorities to order thousands of residents to leave the area for almost nine hours. The tanker, carrying 33,000 pounds of corrosive hydrofluoric acid, a component for household detergents, flipped on a sloping curve in the road at the edge of Wind Gap and began leaking slowly. Hydrofluoric acid in low doses can irritate the eyes, nose and respiratory tract, and in higher doses it can cause severe burns, chronic lung disease or even death, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 26, 1990
Air quality officials will hold a public workshop Aug. 10 in El Monte on a proposed regulation to ban highly toxic hydrofluoric acid at four oil refineries and a refrigerant manufacturing plant. The South Coast Air Quality Management District, which says the regulation is needed to guard against a potential disaster, has proposed phasing out the volatile chemical at Allied Signal's refrigerant manufacturing plant in El Segundo by 1993 and at the oil refineries by 1995.
BUSINESS
April 2, 2007 | Elizabeth Douglass, Times Staff Writer
State and federal safety officials are worried by a Bakersfield refinery's proposal to use a toxic chemical shunned by most California oil companies. Executives at Big West Oil of California have been talking about plans to produce more gasoline and diesel at the refinery since 2005, when parent company Flying J Inc. bought the plant from Shell Oil Co. The expansion project was expected to face opposition on air-quality grounds, as is common with industrial proposals in California.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 30, 1990 | GEORGE STEIN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
U.S. Rep. Mel Levine (D-Santa Monica) on Thursday announced a proposal that would require oil refineries nationwide, including four in Los Angeles County, to phase out the use of acutely hazardous hydrofluoric acid if a federal study finds a safer alternative. "Hydrofluoric acid is dangerous business, and I am deeply concerned by the deadly threat it may pose," Levine said in a prepared statement. "There are urban refineries all over the country that use it. . . . The EPA must step in."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 22, 1986 | Associated Press
Workers released a cloud of dangerous anhydrous hydrofluoric acid at a remote area of the Nevada Test Site in the third controlled test at a new toxic spill test facility, the Department of Energy said. Department spokesman Jim Boyer said the latest test Wednesday night lasted seven minutes and went according to plan. Boyer said the controlled spill released a gaseous cloud 10 to 15 feet high that was visible from as far as 4,000 feet from the spill area.
NEWS
May 12, 1991 | GEORGE HATCH, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The Ultramar oil company has filed suit against the South Coast Air Quality Management District, seeking to block a new AQMD rule curbing large-scale use of hydrofluoric acid, an acutely toxic industrial chemical. The company's Wilmington refinery is one of five plants affected by the rule, which will phase out bulk use of hydrofluoric acid by 1999 unless industry develops a safe form of the chemical by 1994.
NEWS
April 13, 1989 | JEFFREY L. RABIN, Times Staff Writer
Torrance City Councilman Dan Walker launched a direct-mail initiative campaign aimed at forcing Mobil Oil Corp. to abandon the use of acutely toxic hydrofluoric acid at its Torrance refinery. In a slick, professional mailing more typical of a legislative race than a local ballot campaign, the politically ambitious councilman warned last week that Mobil's use of the lethal acid could threaten the lives of thousands of Torrance residents in an accident. Mobil officials rejected that charge Wednesday but refused to comment further.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 22, 1990 | GEORGE STEIN and GERALD FARIS, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
The Torrance City Council, which campaigned vigorously against a March 6 ballot measure to ban hydrofluoric acid at the Torrance Mobil refinery, voted unanimously Tuesday to support similar bans proposed by air quality officials and a state legislator. A comparable resolution was approved in El Segundo, where Allied Signal Inc. uses hydrofluoric acid in bulk. The City Council there supports the legislative ban proposed by Assemblyman Curtis Tucker Jr. (D-Inglewood).
NEWS
February 18, 1990 | TINA DAUNT, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The Santa Fe Springs fire chief is postponing plans to ask two oil refineries to upgrade equipment for preventing dangerous hydrofluoric acid spills despite a recent leak that injured seven people. Chief Bob Wilson said he is hesitant to ask the companies to spend an estimated $2 million each on safety equipment because the South Coast Air Quality Management District is considering banning the acid, which leaked from a broken pipe at Powerine Oil Co. on Jan. 13, sending workers to the hospital.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 11, 1998 | DEBORAH BELGUM, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
The residents around the Mobil Oil refinery in Torrance have had their fair share of horror stories about living near the vast network of petroleum tanks and tall steel towers that dominate the city's landscape. The memory of horrible accidents weighs heavily on the minds of residents such as Reuben Ordaz, whose family had to be evacuated for three days after a 1979 explosion that killed three people and triggered a fire that raged for two days.
NEWS
May 4, 1995
During the past 20 years, Torrance city councils have generally demonstrated high levels of vision, focus and integrity, but tough decisions regarding the Mobil refinery have always brought out the worst in them. From the late 1980s, when Councilman George Nakano first brought the dangers of hydrofluoric acid to the city's attention, until last week's decision to accept an unproven modified hydrofluoric acid technology, the Torrance City Council has displayed an uncanny ability to shoot itself in the foot.
NEWS
April 27, 1995 | SUSAN WOODWARD
A judge has upheld safeguards for Mobil Oil Corp. to follow as it introduces a safer form of a controversial chemical at its Torrance refinery. Retired Superior Court Judge Harry V. Peetris ruled Friday in favor of 11 conditions requested by Torrance officials to guide Mobil as it starts using a modified version of toxic hydrofluoric acid by a 1997 deadline. The changeover is a product of long-running concern in Torrance about the acid's safety after a string of refinery accidents.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 16, 1995 | DEBORAH SCHOCH, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Urged on by residents and businesses that are worried about safety, Torrance will seek tougher safeguards for use of a modified form of toxic hydrofluoric acid at the local Mobil Oil Corp. refinery. On a 4-3 vote, the Torrance City Council late Tuesday requested stiffer guidelines for phasing in a new version of "HF" that Mobil reports is safer than the traditional form of the acid.
NEWS
February 9, 1995 | DEBORAH SCHOCH, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Residents asked about earthquakes and alarm systems. A Mobil Oil Corp. safety official talked about timetables. Some city councilmen bristled over unanswered questions. In the end, the Torrance City Council on Tuesday postponed a vote until next week on one of the most controversial issues to face the city's government in years: whether Mobil can safely use a modified form of hydrofluoric acid at its 750-acre refinery in Torrance. The city must decide by Feb.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 6, 1995 | DEBORAH SCHOCH, TIMES STAFF WRITER
When walls start shaking and dishes rattle ominously, Clifford Heise hurries outsidehis Torrance home to stare at the southern sky. "If it's red, you know it's Mobil," he says, "and you think, 'Quick, which way is the wind blowing?' " For hundreds who live near the mammoth Mobil Oil Corp. refinery in Torrance, the fear of earthquakes is overshadowed by a fear of toxic clouds.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 14, 1990 | GEORGE STEIN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
One small Santa Fe Springs oil refinery said it would have to close and another said its existence would be threatened if air quality officials enact a proposed ban on the bulk use of hydrofluoric acid at their plants. The South Coast Air Quality Management District says the ban is needed to prevent a potential catastrophe that could threaten the lives of thousands living near four Southland refineries and a refrigerant manufacturing plant that use the acutely hazardous substance.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 28, 1990 | GEORGE STEIN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Heated criticism by fire and oil refinery officials of a report on dangers of a hydrofluoric acid spill has led air quality officials to postpone consideration of banning the acutely hazardous substance. The South Coast Air Quality Management District board had been set to debate the matter March 2, but AQMD Deputy Director Ed Camarena told a meeting Friday that additional time is required to respond to criticism from members of an AQMD task force.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 18, 1995 | DEBORAH SCHOCH, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The use of toxic hydrofluoric acid at a Torrance refinery has long fueled bitter debate about the potential effects on the thousands of people who live close to the refinery grounds. That debate may finally be resolved this month if Mobil Oil Corp. can prove to Torrance officials and residents that a multimillion-dollar research effort has produced a safer form of the chemical. At issue: whether Mobil can continue using "HF" at its Torrance refinery or must make a costly switch to sulfuric acid.
NEWS
January 12, 1995 | DEBORAH SCHOCH
The future use of hydrofluoric acid at the Mobil Oil Corp. refinery in Torrance will be discussed at a public meeting Wednesday. The meeting was called by Torrance officials, who are considering a consultant's recommendation that Mobil should be allowed to use a modified form of the controversial acid at its 750-acre refinery. Some critics have called on Mobil to switch to sulfuric acid, labeling hydrofluoric acid too dangerous for use in a highly populated area. But in a report released Jan.
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