Gas Prices

By Nick Green, Daily Breeze
Posted: 05/10/16 – 8:11 AM PDT |

ExxonMobil successfully restarted its Torrance refinery and went without pollution-control devices for fewer than three hours before its electrostatic precipitator resumed operation, the region’s air pollution watchdog has confirmed.

“The ESP is now full functioning,” Sam Atwood, a spokesman with the South Coast Air Quality Management District, said via email Tuesday morning. “They are in the process of restarting the refinery, which will probably take a couple of days.”

The refinery was restarted overnight Monday without using the pollution-control device, which is where hydrocarbons ignited and caused a massive explosion in February 2015. The refinery has remained offline since.

Officials said emissions would peak for the first six hours, but were not expected to rise to levels that would affect public health.

But ExxonMobil ended up shutting down the ESP only from about 9-11:30 p.m. Monday, Atwood said. At no time did air quality levels during the start-up exceed federal or state health standards, he said.

However, it may appear that way to the untrained eye scanning the emissions measured by two newly installed air monitors.

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