Air Quality Regulators Say Torrance Refinery Has Caused Public Nuisance With Air Pollution 

Flaring is seen at the Torrance refinery during a power outage on Oct. 11, 2016. (Credit: KTLA)

Flaring is seen at the Torrance refinery during a power outage on Oct. 11, 2016. (Credit: KTLA)

Air quality regulators have issued a notice of violation to the Torrance Refining Co., saying the 750-acre refinery — whose flare stacks shot flames and billowed thick black smoke Tuesday — had caused a public nuisance with air pollution.

The former Exxon Mobil refinery “has been responsible for an unacceptably high number of flaring events resulting from shutdowns at its Torrance facility,” the South Coast Air Quality Management District said in a news release Thursday.

The refinery, owned by New Jersey-based PBF Energy, lost power Tuesday morning as a result of faulty wiring during the upgrade of a substation, according to Southern California Edison.

The shutdown left about 100,000 customers without electricity in the South Bay, and the resulting eruptions from the refinery prompted the city to order residents to keep their doors and windows closed. Most customers had power restored within hours.

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