Environmental Protection Settlement with BP

District Attorney Nancy E. O’Malley and Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Announce $14 Million Settlement with BP for Underground Storage Tank Violations

Oakland, CA – Alameda County District Attorney Nancy E. O’Malley and Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today announced a $14 million settlement with BP West Coast Products LLC, BP Products North America, Inc., and Atlantic Richfield Company over allegations that the companies violated state laws regarding operating and maintaining motor vehicle fuel underground storage tank laws.

The Attorney General’s office, the Alameda County District Attorney’ Office and several district attorneys across the state allege that BP failed to properly inspect and maintain underground tanks used to store gasoline for retail sale at approximately 780 gas stations in California over a period of 10 years and violated other hazardous material and hazardous waste laws.

“I am very proud to work alongside Attorney General Harris and my fellow district attorneys to ensure that every company operating in California complies with our state laws that regulate the underground storage of gasoline,” says DA O’Malley.

“It is vital that we work together to prevent the pollution of our soil and water supplies, and my office is committed to investigating and prosecuting violations of the laws that put our environment and communities in harm’s way.”

"BP endangered our water supply, environment, and the health of Californians by failing to adequately operate underground gasoline storage tanks,” said Attorney General Harris. "The California Department of Justice takes environmental violations seriously and will hold accountable companies that jeopardize public health or safety.”

The Attorney General's office and the Alameda County District Attorney’s Officer were joined in this enforcement action by Glenn County District Attorney Dwayne Stewart, Merced County District Attorney Larry D. Morse II, Nevada County District Attorney Clifford Newell, Placer County District Attorney Ronald Scott Owens, San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael Ramos, San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie M. Dumanis, Stanislaus County District Attorney Birgit Fladager, and Yuba County District Attorney Patrick McGrath.

The complaint alleges that, since 2006, BP has improperly monitored, inspected, and maintained underground storage tanks used to store gasoline for retail sale; tampered with or disabled leak detection devices; and improperly handled and disposed of hazardous wastes and materials associated with the underground storage tanks at retail gas stations throughout California. In addition, the complaint alleges that BP failed to test secondary containment systems, conduct monthly inspections, train employees in proper protocol, and maintain operational alarm systems.

The settlement is subject to approval by the Alameda County Superior Court.

BP currently owns or operates 73 facilities in California, and at the beginning of this investigation, owned or operated approximately 780 facilities.

In 2015, Attorney General Harris and District Attorney O’Malley announced an $11.5 million settlement with Phillips 66 and ConocoPhillips, resolving law enforcement allegations that the companies violated state laws governing the proper operation and maintenance of underground storage tanks used to store gasoline for retail sale. The companies failed to comply with hazardous materials and hazardous waste laws at over 560 gasoline stations owned or operated by the companies in California.


[Image Source: BP website]

Posted on Nov 17, 2016