Cenco rumors untrue

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinals“Santa Fe Springs has been very, very cooperative. They’re as anxious as we are to get the blighted area cleaned up,” said Lowell Morse, president of Lakeland Development Co., which has taken over the Cenco project. Had the Cenco refinery opened, it likely would not have produced enough gasoline to make any significant impact on today’s high prices, Morse added, describing Cenco as “a very small refinery.” It would have produced “only 50,000 barrels a day” had it reopened, he said. Today, many of the original residents who fought against Cenco’s reopening have moved. Most residents, like Teresa Gomez, 42, have only vague recollections of the period. “I remember people were rallying to have it moved, but I didn’t know what it was about,” said Gomez, who lives near the refinery. Cenco’s potential role as a regional gasoline producer has been a dead issue for some time, Latham said. SANTA FE SPRINGS – After a radio show erroneously reported plans to re-start the old Cenco refinery, city officials found themselves forcefully dispelling a rumor that appeared to be revived by the recent spikes in gas prices. “No refinery is going to be starting in Santa Fe Springs – period,” said City Manager Fred Latham. “Absolutely no refineries are coming into Santa Fe Springs.” In July 2001, Cenco formally abandoned plans to restart refinery operations at the 95-acre plant after residents and environmental activities lobbied state and regional air quality officials. Now, the company is in the midst of selling off what is left of the old refinery’s equipment, while city officials pursue plans to redevelop the site. Forty-five acres already have been sold. Plans are underway to sell the remaining 55 acres, said Latham. Construction of warehouses and other commercial buildings is expected to begin within three years, after the land is cleaned of any contaminants, he added. Communities for a Better Environment, a Huntington Beach environmental group, made sure of that years ago when CBE filed a lawsuit in federal court to block the refinery’s reopening. The group sued television evangelist Pat Robertson, who controls the company and had hoped to restart operations at the refinery in 1998. Three years earlier, in 1995, the refinery, then known as the Powerine Oil Co., was found to be the 12th biggest air polluter in the region. CBE eventually was granted a court injunction that halted all future refining operations. The plant is near several small industrial parks, an elementary school, a residential neighborhood and a senior citizen housing complex. Gomez said she’s happy that the refinery will never again operate in her neighborhood. “That could affect someone’s health,” said Gomez. “Your health is more important that anything else.” araceli.esparza@sgvn.com (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3024160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more