Carson seeks court restraining order against Tesoro’s South Bay refinery operations
Carson has filed a lawsuit against the state’s regional air-pollution regulator for allowing Tesoro Corp. to move forward with plans to integrate its two South Bay plants into the West Coast’s largest petroleum refinery.
The civil complaint, served Wednesday against the South Coast Air Quality Management District, seeks a temporary restraining order that would block the petroleum refiner from proceeding with construction.
It also asks a Los Angeles Superior Court judge to reverse the air-quality district’s May 12 approval of the project’s environmental impact report and to require the air district to reimburse attorney fees and court costs.
“AQMD, as a lead agency, was responsible to make sure the city’s concerns get addressed in the EIR, but it failed to do so,” Carson Mayor Albert Robles said in a written statement.
“It is not acceptable that the closest air quality monitoring station is in another city. Do Carson lives not matter? We demand just as good air quality for our children and residents that Californians in other cities enjoy.”
City officials believe local pollution effects weren’t adequately considered in Tesoro’s plans to replace two 80,000-barrel crude oil tanks with two new 300,000-barrel tanks, and six new 500,000-barrel storage tanks, among other changes.
The $460 million Los Angeles Refinery Integration and Compliance Project would join the two plants facing Alameda Street. They stretch south along the industrial corridor from the 405 Freeway to Pacific Coast Highway, in one long parade of steaming steel facilities adjacent to dense neighborhoods.
In addition to increasing fuel-storage capacity that would require shorter stays for oil-transport ships, Tesoro wants to dig a new network of thicker pipelines to funnel products underground faster from the Port of Long Beach.
A sulfuric acid regeneration plant would be constructed, allowing the plant to refine its own spent sulfuric acid rather than continuing to truck it out. New propane and jet-fuel treatment units would be added, along with larger unloading capacity for thousands more liquefied petroleum gas rail shipments annually.
When construction is over and the new facilities are running, Tesoro officials said regional pollution levels will be substantially lower. The aging refineries, both built in the 1920s, also will comply with recent federal gasoline sulfur-reduction requirements after the work is completed, according to the company.