Video Update: Tanker Truck Loaded with 30 Tons of HF Overturns in China – One Person Dies

Unknown amount of HF released. Photos and a new video show the accident happened on a rural stretch of highway. In an urban setting, fatalities could have been catastrophic. Hundreds of trucks like these, loaded with HF, travel the U.S. highways every week, imperiling the communities they travel through.

HF truck overturned about 5 kilometers from the Lanhai Expressway Dasi toll station in the direction of Qinzhou, China. Click the image and watch a 4-minute video of the horrendous aftermath of the accident and the clean-up effort .

On June 21, 2021, the Qinzhou Fire and Rescue Detachment Command Center received an alarm: A large truck carrying vegetables collided with a tank truck loaded with 31.2 tons of hydrofluoric acid about 5 kilometers from the Lanhai Expressway Dasi toll station in the direction of Qinzhou. Nineteen fire trucks from Qinzhou and its Port District Chemical Rescue Team were dispatched to the scene. They quickly carried out rescue work and plugged the leak. The amount of HF released was not stated in the news article; however, a rupture that released a major portion in an urban setting would be disastrous. Local governments and public security departments urgently evacuated village residents within 2 kilometers of the accident. Expressway and local traffic police departments evacuated and diverted vehicles stranded on the expressway.

Ground-hugging aerosol cloud from hydrogen fluoride released from an overturned tanker truck.

After 12 hours of joint efforts by the fire, public security, traffic police, environmental protection, and other departments, the rescue work was successfully completed, and the danger was eliminated. The accident caused one minor injury and one death, although the cause was not stated.

Click to read news source.

The Peril of Trucking HF

Click Image to Watch Video

This video created by Honeywell, the world’s largest producer of hydrofluoric acid, shows the extreme measures needed for even a minor HF leak during truck transport. It underscores the peril of a major accident like the one in China.

Experts know that by far the best protection from an accidental release of a highly dangerous chemical is to replace it with a safer alternative. A regulation requiring refineries to transition from HF alkylation to one of the vastly safer modern alternatives would eliminate the hazards posed by the daily highway transport of massive amounts of HF to refineries. A multitude 0f communities nationwide, both near and far from these refineries, would then be safe from a trucking accident delivering HF to refineries.

Dr. Joseph K. Lyou — President of the Coalition for Clean Air & Former Governing Board Member of SCAQMD — to Headline TRAA’s Monthly Zoom Meeting on Wednesday, November 10 at 7:00 p.m. Pacific Time

An advocate for replacing HF alkylation at the Torrance and Valero Wilmington refineries with a modern, vastly safer process, Dr. Joeseph Lyou was a Governing Board Member of the South Coast Air Quality Management District during the critical period leading up to SCAQMD’s failure to ban HF. Dr. Lyou will open the meeting with his view of the current situation and the path forward. A Q&A discussion will follow.

joesephlyouDr. Joseph K. Lyou serves as President & CEO of the Coalition for Clean Air. In January 2020 he was appointed to serve on the California Transportation Commission by Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon. Dr. Lyou also served as the governor’s appointee to the South Coast Air Quality Management District Governing Board from June 2007 to March 2019. Dr. Lyou received his Ph.D. from UC Santa Cruz in 1990.

To attend the virtual meeting, RSVP with an e-mail request for a Zoom link to TRAA President Steven Goldsmith at info@TRAA.website.

Screening & Discussion of the Acclaimed Environmental Justice Documentary “The Condor & The Eagle” on Nov 11

The progressive grass-roots group Indivisible Media City Burbank is hosting an online screening of Sophie & Clément Guerra’s acclaimed documentary The Condor and the Eagle at 6:30 p.m. Pacific Time on Thursday, November 11, 2021. The film will be followed by a 90-minute panel featuring politicians, local leaders of climate justice groups, and indigenous people engaged in environmental struggle against refineries, power plants, and destructive redevelopment of civic assets such as the Los Angeles River basin. Your donations will support the essential work done by the Torrance Refinery Action Alliance, campaigning to urge Governor Gavin Newsom to request an investigation of the Torrance Refining Company & Wilmington’s Valero Refinery.

Thursday, November 11, 2021
Online film screening at 6:30 p.m.
Panel discussion at 8:00 p.m.
For event information, to register, and to make a donation, click here.

Watch the Trailer

Read about The Condor & The Eagle at its official website.

The Panel Leaders

TRAA President
Steve Goldsmith

Steve Goldsmith is lead organizer for Torrance Refinery Action Alliance, a group of citizens formed after a near miss of a massive release of extremely deadly hydrofluoric acid (HF) at Torrance refinery in 2015. Steve will tell the story of TRAA as it has battled the only two refineries in California that use HF, aiming to require conversion to a vastly safer chemical. Now TRAA is exerting pressure at the local, state, and federal level on this ticking time bomb.

Film Protagonist
Casey Camp-Horinek

Casey Camp-Horinek is the Hereditary Drumkeeper of the Womens’ Scalp Dance Society of the Ponca Nation of Oklahoma. Because of Casey’s work, the Ponca Nation is the first Tribe in the State of Oklahoma to adopt the Rights of Nature Statute and to pass a moratorium on Fracking on Tribal Lands. In addition to her leadership as part of Movement Rights’ Board, Casey Camp-Horinek leads Movement Rights’ Ponca Rights of Nature program, and co-leads Movement Rights’ Intertribal Rights of Nature (IRON) forums, connecting tribal communities across Turtle Island interested in or actively working on passing Rights of Nature into tribal law.

Assemblymember
Laura Friedman

Laura Friedman, representing Assembly District 43, was chair of the Environment Committee of the California State Assembly last year. She is currently chair of the Transportation Committee. Assemblymember Friedman is one of the most passionate and articulate champions of climate justice in the state (and nation). She will address the role of government in advancing the cause of marginalized communities in environmental struggles.

Culver City Vice Mayor
Daniel Wayne Lee

Daniel Wayne Lee is an Air Force veteran and holds a Master’s degree in Social Welfare from UCLA. He has worked on union and housing issues, community mental health, and police accountability. He led the effort to close the Inglewood Oil Field. Dan Lee is a leader of the Just Transition movement away from fossil fuels.

Founder & Director of
The River Project
Melanie Winter

Melanie Winter is the founder and director of The River Project, a non-profit dedicated to just & equitable watershed-based, climate-resilient planning in Los Angeles. She’s been involved in water and land-use policy for 25 years, bringing significant funding for and national attention to the LA River. The River Project led the effort to create Rio de Los Angeles State Park, developed the award-winning Tujunga/Pacoima Watershed Plan, created the innovative urban acupuncture program, Water LA, and recently completed a radically regenerative revisioning of the 2k acre Sepulveda Basin. The River Project partners with agencies, NGOs, and communities to design and implement holistic policies, projects, and programs that multi-solve for climate and other intersecting challenges

Inclusive Donation-Based Event

This event is inclusive, free to those who can’t afford it. For all others, suggested donations on a sliding scale of $15-100 are requested in lieu of a flat ticket price. Your donations will support the essential work done by Torrance Refinery Action Alliance, campaigning to urge Governor Gavin Newsom to request an investigation of the Torrance Refining Company & Wilmington’s Valero Refinery. Part of the funds collected will also go towards the film impact campaign No More Sacrificed Communities and be used to provide small honoraria to the panelists.

For event information, to register, and to make a donation, click here.

TRAA’s Monthly Zoom Meeting on Wednesday, October 13 at 7:00 p.m. Pacific Time

Be involved with important national and local issues of HF refineries and their impact on community safety.

The October meeting will focus on the national level with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the latest status of nominations to the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB).

There also will be an important report from the TRAA Voter Advisory Panel on upcoming elections affecting the South Bay.

And, meet TRAA’s new intern Nia Liggins! Nia Liggins has joined the TRAA team as an intern/staff and committed to at least working 10 hours a week for the next ten weeks. She is currently working on (among other things) getting contact information for the appropriate staff people for the 36 Congress members and 40 Senators who have HF in their jurisdictions. She is terrific and a big help. Nia came to us via David Colgan, Communications Director of UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability.

To attend the virtual meeting, RSVP with an e-mail request for a Zoom link to TRAA President Steven Goldsmith at info@TRAA.website.

How One Washington County Took On the Fossil Fuel Industry—and Won

Sierra – the magazine of the Sierra Club – tells how Whatcom County, located in the northwest corner of the United States and home to two of Washington State’s five oil refineries, is the first in the U.S. to ban new fossil fuel infrastructure.

Firefighters spray water at the Cherry Point Refinery fire in Whatcom County, Washington. | Photo by AP Photo/The Bellingham Herald/Philip A. Dwyer

In this inspiring David-and-Goliath article, Carl Weimer, a fierce advocate for pipeline safety and past Whatcom County Councilmember, concludes:

“We didn’t have any hope that the federal government was going to protect us. So, we had to try to do what we could locally. I think often local governments underestimate how much power they have. This was certainly an experiment in that. How far could we push it? How much could we use local zoning and planning issues to control industries that have a much broader impact? And we found we could do quite a bit.”

This Sierra Club article underscores the critical importance of electing informed members to City Councils in the South Bay, which is a goal of TRAA and the TRAA Voter Advisory Panel.

Read the full Sierra Club article by clicking here.

National Expert on Hazardous Chemicals & California Democratic Party Executive Board Member to Headline TRAA’s Monthly Zoom Meeting on Wednesday, September 8 at 7:00 p.m. Pacific Time

Former Managing Director of the U.S. Chemical Safety Board Dr. Daniel Horowitz and California Democratic Party Executive Board member Tony Hale will headline TRAA’s September Meeting. Daniel will talk about new nominees to the CSB, and Tony will discuss the upcoming Torrance elections and candidates. They will be available to answer questions.

Daniel Horowitz, Ph.D.
Former Managing Director of the U.S. Chemical Safety Board

Tony Hale
California Democratic Party Executive Board member for the 66th Assembly District

Dr. Daniel Horowitz is an organic chemist and former Managing Director of the U.S. Chemical Safety Board. Dr. Horowitz recently wrote the compelling opinion piece for The New York Times:
This Chemical Kills. Why Aren’t Regulators Banning It?

Professional political consultant living in Redondo Beach, Tony Hale serves as an Executive Board member of the California Democratic Party for the 66th Assembly District. He is also the Chair of the Resolutions Committee of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party.

(click speakers’ names above to see their bios)

Dr. Daniel Horowitz and Tony Hale have graciously accepted an invitation to open TRAA’s September monthly Zoom meeting. Daniel will talk about new nominees to the CSB, and Tony will discuss the upcoming Torrance elections and candidates. They will be available to answer questions.

To attend the virtual meeting, RSVP with an e-mail request for a Zoom link to TRAA President Steven Goldsmith at info@TRAA.website.

TRAA’s Position on the Recall Election – Please Vote NO

We at the Torrance Refinery Action Alliance (TRAA) have only one mission and that is to see the Torrance and Valero refineries replace hydrofluoric acid (HF/MHF) with a safer chemical, one that will not threaten our communities. We believe Governor Newsom is the best candidate for achieving our mission.

The governor makes important appointments to regulatory boards. His appointments to the Cal-EPA, California Air Resources Board and the Southern California Air Quality Management District (AQMD) are of particular importance to TRAA.

Governor Gavin Newsom

Recently Governor Newsom appointed someone we believe is a champion for our cause. We’ve met with him and he gets it. We didn’t need to explain the danger posed by HF to him, as we usually must do with appointees and elected officials. He was well versed in the danger before he came into the Zoom room. He’s worked on environmental issues for a long time.

So, for us the choice is clear, and we ask our supporters to VOTE NO ON THE RECALL in order to retain Governor Gavin Newsom. (Vote NO on question 1).

Read about Governor Gavin Newsom at his official website: https://www.gov.ca.gov/

Speak Out at SCAQMD Board Zoom Meeting on Friday Sept  3 at 9 a.m. PDT

Two years ago, ignoring staff warnings, the AQMD Board said they were okay with massive quantities of HF a short distance from where over a million people live, work, and play. Residents of the South Bay, Los Angeles, and Long Beach regions live with danger and under a cloud of fear. It doesn’t have to be this way. There are vastly safer, commercially available alternatives to HF. Find the link for speaking below.

The Message to Deliver: Two Years & Not Safe — Enough is Enough — Require Refinery Conversion from HF to a Vastly Safer Alternative — HF/MHF Must GO!

Read what the South Coast Air Quality Management District Governing Board did two years ago on that fateful day Friday, September 6, 2019 in the Los Angeles Times article:

Air Board Kills Regulation of Dangerous Refinery Acid in Favor of Oil Industry Plan

“Near Miss”
40-ton debris lands within 5 feet from MHF tanks at the Torrance refinery in 2015

TRAA & Allies Will Attend the Sept 3 SCAQMD Meeting with a Clear Message:

  • Since September 6, 2019, neither refinery added mitigation measures that would prevent a massive, deadly release of HF.
Continue reading “Speak Out at SCAQMD Board Zoom Meeting on Friday Sept  3 at 9 a.m. PDT”

Congresswoman Nanette Barragán Welcomes EPA Administrator Michael Regan to Los Angeles to Highlight Environmental Justice Issues

On Thursday, August 19, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan joined Congresswoman Nanette Diaz Barragán and local activists to discuss environmental justice issues in Los Angeles County.

Congresswoman Barragán led EPA’s top person, Administrator Michael Regan, on a tour of her district to show him some of the neighborhoods severely affected by pollution, and facilitate discussions between Administrator Regan and Los Angeles County residents who live near these polluted sites.

Congresswoman Nanette Barragán and EPA Administrator Michael Regan

The Congresswoman’s 44th District comprises Carson, Compton, East Compton, East Rancho Dominguez, Lynwood, North Long Beach, San Pedro, South Gate, Watts, Walnut Park, West Rancho Dominguez, Willowbrook, and Wilmington. The district is the setting for the New York Times opinion video Living Near Oil Production Is Deadly. Why Don’t California Lawmakers Care? by Josiah Edwards, who is a climate organizer in Carson.

At the Wilmington Boys & Girls Club, Congresswoman Barragán and Administrator Regan heard from local advocates, made brief remarks, took questions from journalists, and listened to local environmental justice advocates. They looked at oil drilling sites right next to homes and the Boys & Girls Club and went on a short drive to the site of a working oil pump immediately between two homes and right in the middle of a residential neighborhood.

Congresswoman Nanette Barragán is a strong advocate for removing highly dangerous hydrogen fluoride from the two South Bay refineries that use it. She and Congressman Ted Lieu wrote a letter to the AQMD expressing their support of a ban, see:
https://traa.website/letters-of-support-from-elected-officials/

Congresswoman Barragan requested materials from TRAA for her to personally deliver to Administrator Regan.

Congresswoman Nanette Barragán
Continue reading “Congresswoman Nanette Barragán Welcomes EPA Administrator Michael Regan to Los Angeles to Highlight Environmental Justice Issues”

National Expert on Terrorism and Hazardous Chemicals to Headline TRAA’s Monthly Zoom Meeting on Wednesday, August 11 at 7:00 p.m. Pacific Time

Washington D.C.-based public interest consultant Rick Hind has been a leading advocate for environmental justice for decades. In his twenty-six-year career as the former Legislative Director of Greenpeace, Hind led a national campaign to prevent catastrophic chemical accidents, which resulted in a presidential executive order and revised EPA regulations in 2017, successfully aided in winning passage in the U.S. House of Representatives of the first true disaster prevention legislation in 2009, and led U.S. efforts to the U.N. Stockholm treaty to gradually eliminate some of the worst toxic pollutants on a global scale.

Rich Hind

Rick Hind is one of the nation’s foremost experts on a variety of toxics issues, including security issues related to chemical hazards and the chemical industry. In the 2004 New York Times Op Ed Lots of Chemicals, Little Reaction, Rick Hind, along with co-author David Halprin, brought to the public’s attention “one of the most urgent threats to our safety: the risk that terrorists could cause thousands, even millions, of deaths by sabotaging one of the 15,000 industrial chemical plants across the United States.” In his 2013 U.S. House of Representatives testimony, Homeland Security Regulations Leave Millions of People at Risk, Rick Hind emphasizes the threat that the American public faces from potential acts of chemical terrorism.

Rick Hind has graciously accepted an invitation to open TRAA’s August monthly Zoom meeting with his views on transitioning HF refineries to using a vastly safer alternative. Following his comments, Rick will be available to answer questions.

To attend the virtual meeting, RSVP with an e-mail request for a Zoom link to TRAA President Steven Goldsmith at info@TRAA.website. If you have a question for Rick Hind, include it in your request for a Zoom link. You’ll be able to ask a question during the meeting as well .