TORRANCE, Calif. (AP) — Regulators have authorized ExxonMobil to restart an oil refinery in Torrance more than a year after an explosion crippled the plant and led to higher gas prices in California.
The South Coast Air Quality Management board voted 3-2 Saturday night to allow the refinery to exceed pollution limits as it resumes gasoline manufacturing.
The refinery has sat largely idle since the February 2015 blast injured four contractors, caused heavy damage at the plant and rocked nearby neighbors.
The AQMD ordered ExxonMobil not to restart during school and business hours so people won't be exposed to excess pollution and pay $5 million in penalties for air pollution violations following the explosion.
The plant's shutdown led to a shortage of gas that meets California's stricter pollution regulations and caused higher prices at the pump.