TORRANCE (CBSLA.com) — Documents from the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health indicate that the Torrance Exxon Mobil refinery where a blast took place on Wednesday has faced more than $100,000 in proposed penalties for inspection violations over the past five years.
On Thursday, KCAL9’s Jeff Nguyen reported that Cal/OSHA said it found violations during six of the nine inspections it has held at the refinery in that time. During the most recent inspection, performed in November, eight serious violations were found, documents say.READ MORE: Burglars Ram U-Haul Into Tarzana Cell Phone Repair Shop
Cal/OSHA records also show Exxon Mobil has appealed the majority of the $101,160 in penalties levied against the company.
On Thursday, the company declined a request for an interview.READ MORE: Nearing Historic Strike Vote, Thousands Of Hollywood Workers Could Walk Off Sets Nationwide
In a statement released Wednesday night Exxon Mobil said that “the non-impacted units of the refinery continue to operate.”
Cal/OSHA believes the explosion originated in the Fluid Catalytic Cracker Unit, which is used to pull out toxic material from gases. Cal/OSHA said that unit was placed on a planned shutdown before Wednesday morning’s blast, which sent white ash into the air in and around the refinery.MORE NEWS: LA County Increases Water Usage As State Drought Conditions Worsen
The South Coast Air Quality Management District said it sent inspectors to the refinery on Wednesday to gather air and particulate samples, and testing is currently underway. The agency hopes to have results to share by Friday.