AQMD Votes to Allow Exxon Mobil to Restore Torrance Refinery

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An explosion in 2015 at Exxon Mobil's refinery in Torrance prompted neighbors to call for the facility's permanent closure. (Credit: KTLA)

The South Coast Air Quality Management District voted late Saturday to allow Exxon Mobil to fully restore its refinery in Torrance after an explosion at the facility last year.

After nearly 12 hours of public comment and expert testimony at Torrance City Hall, the district’s board voted 3 to 2 to approve the order.

ExxonMobil will also pay approximately $5 million in penalties for air pollution violations as a result of the 2015 explosion and violations that could occur during the startup of the refinery. Half of the monies will be earmarked for projects to benefit the communities surrounding the Torrance facility.

“We agree with the decision of the South Coast Air Quality Management District Hearing Board and appreciate its hard work and guidance as we work to safely restart the Torrance Refinery,” Exxon Mobil said in a statement.

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