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$14 Million Settlement with BP for Underground Storage Tank Violations

November 17, 2016

R. Scott Owens

District Attorney

PLACER COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY
10810 Justice Center Drive, Suite 240
Roseville, California 95678
916 543-8000 

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release 
November 17th, 2016

Contact: Jeff Wilson,  Assistant District Attorney
916 543-8000

DISTRICT ATTORNEY R. SCOTT OWENS AND ATTORNEY GENERAL KAMALA D. HARRIS ANNOUNCE $14 MILLION SETTLEMENT WITH BP FOR UNDERGROUND STORAGE TANK VIOLATIONS

ROSEVILLE, CA. --- Placer County District Attorney Scott R. Owens 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 Placer County District Attorney’s 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.

“Our County is unwavering in its dedication to protecting our citizens and environment, and will continue to be steadfast in our investigation and prosecution of companies that violate state environmental laws”, said DA Scott Owens.  “Ms. Crue’s work on this case was exemplar, and it was an honor to work with the Attorney General’s Office and our fellow District Attorneys.”

“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 Placer County District Attorney’s Office were joined in this enforcement action by Alameda County District Attorney Nancy E. O’Malley, Glenn County District Attorney Dwayne Stewart, Merced County District Attorney Larry D. Morse II, Nevada County District Attorney Clifford Newell, 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 Owens 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.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Jane Crue prosecuted the case for the Placer County District Attorney’s Office.  A copy of the stipulation is attached.

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