September 11, 1991
This brief was never made available to us, so we don’t know what it says. But a brief is a lawyer’s opening argument, not a court’s conclusion. As such, it will contain biased and unverified information and statements.
Most important is this: Whatever validity there may have been to the contents in the brief is history. Whatever it says about the refinery and its employees attempts to describe the past, not the present.
The brief in question was prepared for the city. We encourage you to talk with the mayor, the fire chief and other city officials and civic leaders with firsthand knowledge of our safety practices and responsiveness to community concerns.
Any news story that purports to tell what was or may have been at this refinery can only misinform and mislead its readers if it doesn’t also give at least equal attention to the situation and views that exist today.
Over the past three years, there isn’t an industrial facility in this state that has invested more time, energy and money to make certain its operations are safe for its employees and the community.
We continue to improve a range of safety programs which we believe are now among the best in the industry. They include fire and safety training, accident investigations reviews, contractor safety, and monthly safety performance audits.
The real proof of these improvements is results. The refinery has surpassed 1 million work hours without a lost workday injury. Over the past year our refinery safety statistics have improved over 80% and currently rank us in the top 10% of all US refineries.
No industrial facility has established more effective programs for open and full communications with the community--to listen to the community, hear its concerns and inform it of what we are are doing day in and day out to run a safe plant.
As part of our settlement with the city, we agreed to have an independent safety adviser. That’s unprecedented, and offers the community even greater assurance that our refinery is operated with safety as the paramount concern.
As to the questions on earthquakes, the seismic integrity of our facility was addressed in the risk-management prevention plan submitted to the Torrance Fire Department.
If the residents of Torrance have any doubts about our commitment to safety and the environment, come tour the refinery and talk to Joel Maness, the refinery manager, about our programs and activities in these areas. Our gates are open.