Redondo Beach council votes to phase out chemical at refinery

REDONDO BEACH, Calif. -- The Redondo Beach City Council voted in favor of phasing out a toxic chemical at the nearby Torrance refinery.

The chemical at question is hydrofluoric acid. It's an additive used in the refining of oil. It boils at a low temperature, so it needs to be kept under extreme pressure.

Environmentalists say that high pressure is dangerous and so is HF if it is released.

Refineries in Torrance and Wilmington are the only two in California still using HF.

Refinery officials say they use a diluted form of HF and it is used safely. Refinery officials say if they have to switch to another technology, it would be costly and the refinery would shut down and hundreds would lose their jobs.

Manhattan Beach's City Council will vote on HF March 20.