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AB-1645 Hydrogen fluoride: notice of use: substitution.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 04/18/2017 04:00 AM
AB1645:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 17, 2017
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 28, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 1645


Introduced by Assembly Member Muratsuchi

February 17, 2017


An act to add Article 11.3 (commencing with Section 25240) to Chapter 6.5 of Division 20 of the Health and Safety Code, relating to hydrogen fluoride.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1645, as amended, Muratsuchi. Hydrogen fluoride: notice of use: substitution.
(1) Existing law generally regulates the management of hazardous waste. A violation of the hazardous waste control laws is a crime.
This bill would require a business refinery that, at any time, handles, maintains, or stores more than 250 gallons of hydrogen fluoride or fluoride, including hydrofluoric acid and modified hydrofluoric acid, to, if possible, convert to a known, significantly less hazardous substitute by January 1, 2020. If that conversion is not possible and the business refinery is located within 2 miles of a residential dwelling, the bill would require the business refinery to cease handling, maintaining, or storing hydrogen fluoride and fluoride, including hydrofluoric acid and modified hydrofluoric acid, by January 1, 2020. Because a violation of these requirements would be a crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
(2) The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 (a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(1) Modified hydrofluoric acid, a solution of hydrogen fluoride and water, a vapor suppressant additive, is used by two refineries in California to manufacture high octane fuel.
(2) According to the United States Chemical Safety Board, “Hydrofluoric acid is one of the most hazardous and deadly chemicals used in petroleum refining.”
(3) In February 2015, an explosion at the Exxon Mobil Torrance refinery blanketed nearby neighborhoods with catalyst dust and felt like a 1.7 magnitude earthquake. The explosion barely missed the Torrance refinery’s storage of modified hydrofluoric acid. acid settler tank.
(4) Investigations have shown that since 1979 there have been more than 80 incidents at the Torrance refinery involving hydrofluoric acid.
(5) According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Hydrogen fluoride gas, even at low levels, can irritate the eyes, nose, and respiratory tract. Breathing in hydrogen fluoride at high levels or in combination with skin contact can cause death from an irregular heartbeat or from fluid buildup in the lungs.”
(6) People who survive after being severely injured by breathing in hydrogen fluoride may suffer lingering chronic lung disease or prolonged or permanent visual defects, blindness, or the total destruction of the eye.
(7) Residents in southern California have tried to ban the use of hydrofluoric acid at refineries for more than 25 years.
(8) Previous attempts to ban hydrofluoric acid at refineries in California have ended in litigation. Notably, in 1991, Ultramar, the then-operator of the Wilmington refinery sued the South Coast Air Quality Management District after the district adopted a rule phasing out the use of hydrofluoric acid.
(9) Today, 616,000 residents in California live within 3.5 miles of refineries that combined store more than 60,000 lbs of modified hydrofluoric acid.
(10) Article I of the California Constitution declares, “All people are by nature free and independent and have inalienable rights. Among these are enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining safety, happiness, and privacy.”

(11)Even in its modified form, hydrofluoric acid could kill more than 500,000 Californians at any moment, causing a threat to property and safety.

(11) The lives and health of people residing within the refineries’ official EPA worst case scenario modified hydrofluoric acid risk zones are in danger from a significant accidental release of modified hydrofluoric acid.
(b) It is the intent of the Legislature to balance the needs of public safety with preserving refinery jobs.

SEC. 2.

 Article 11.3 (commencing with Section 25240) is added to Chapter 6.5 of Division 20 of the Health and Safety Code, to read:
Article  11.3. Hydrogen Fluoride

25240.
 (a) A business refinery that, at any time, handles, maintains, or stores more than 250 gallons of hydrogen fluoride, including hydrofluoric acid and modified hydrofluoric acid, shall, if possible, convert to a known, significantly less hazardous substitute by January 1, 2020.
(b) If it is not possible for a business refinery to convert to a known, significantly less hazardous substitute, as specified in subdivision (a), and the business refinery is located within two miles of a residential dwelling, the business refinery shall cease handling, maintaining, or storing hydrogen fluoride and fluoride, including hydrofluoric acid and modified hydrofluoric acid, by January 1, 2020.

SEC. 3.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.