Local News in Brief : Brown Creates Panel on Refinery Hazards
Assembly Speaker Willie Brown has created an eight-member select committee of legislators to recommend how to protect workers and surrounding communities from dangers posed by oil refineries, chemical plants and pipelines.
The committee, which Brown announced Thursday, has a mandate to examine safety problems statewide, but Assemblyman David Elder (D-Long Beach), who will be its chairman, said the panel initially will focus on the South Bay. The heavily populated area has eight major refineries, one of the heaviest concentrations in the country.
Elder added that he hopes to begin holding hearings before the summer recess. The committee is to turn in recommendations by July, 1990.
Among recent events that spurred Elder to ask Brown to create the panel were accidents at the Mobil oil refinery in Torrance that caused three deaths and a dozen injuries in the last two years; chlorine clouds that forced the evacuations of thousands in Commerce and Simi Valley, and pipeline ruptures in the San Fernando Valley that poured thousands of gallons of crude oil onto streets.