The Department of Toxic Substances Control announced Wednesday that it will require Torrance Refining Co. to pay $150,000 in penalties for illegally storing hazardous waste at its oil refinery.
The Los Angeles-based company will face additional penalties unless it meets deadlines for recycling or disposing of the hazardous waste, according to the state. The penalties and recycling and disposal requirements are included in a settlement agreement between the Department of Toxic Substances Control and Torrance Refining.
An email message to the Torrance company requesting comment was not immediately answered. The facility is located at 3700 W. 190th St. in Torrance and covers 750 acres, according to the South Coast Air Quality Management District.
Formerly owned by ExxonMobil, it refines gasoline, diesel fuel, aviation fuels, liquefied petroleum gases, coke and sulfur.
“We take these violations extremely seriously,” department Director Barbara A. Lee said in a statement. “This agreement puts in place strict deadlines to ensure that the hazardous waste is removed in a timely manner. These actions are necessary to protect public health and the environment.”
A joint inspection by the state and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency found that Torrance Refining had illegally accumulated 364 bins of hazardous waste, each with 20-cubic yard capacity, among more than half a dozen violations of state and federal hazardous waste laws, the agency said.
Some of that waste had accumulated up to 26 years ago, an earlier AQMD probe determined.
The refinery did not have the necessary equipment to recycle or process the hazardous waste, and it stored the bins without a permit or authorization from the state. The department ordered the company to remove or recycle the hazardous waste in March.
Under the agreement, the contents of at least 179 of the bins must be recycled or disposed of by July 31 and at least 92 more bins must be recycled or disposed of by Oct. 31. The contents of the remaining bins must be recycled or disposed of by Dec. 31.
If Torrance Refining does not meet each of the three deadlines, the refinery will be required to pay a penalty of $6,000 per bin, the department said.
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