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Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Announces Settlement with TravelCenters over Environmental Violations

Thursday, March 15, 2012
Contact: (415) 703-5837

SAN FRANCISCO -- Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today announced a $1.2 million settlement with TravelCenters, a leading truck stop operator, over environmental violations at a truck stop and fuel tank system in Riverside County.

“Environmental regulations safeguard the public health,” Attorney General Harris said. “As Attorney General, I will defend those regulations and crack down on those who violate them.”

In March 2009, the Attorney General’s office joined a lawsuit filed by the Riverside District Attorney regarding serious and numerous violations at a truck stop in Coachella. TravelCenters operates 10 service area truck stops in California.

The Riverside County Department of Environmental Health, Hazardous Materials Division discovered numerous violations at a truck stop in Coachella – the most significant of which involved the tampering or disabling of sensors on the fuel tank monitoring system. These sensors are designed to detect the release of hazardous material at the earliest possible opportunity and activate warning alarms.

Other violations at the facility included failure to test and certify the underground storage tanks, failure to properly label and cover hazardous wastes and failure to train employees in a timely manner on safety procedures.

The $1.2 million settlement requires TravelCenters to pay $950,000 in cash for penalties, costs and expenses. TravelCenters receives a $250,000 credit for environmentally protective equipment installed at the Coachella facility that is more than currently required by state law.

A copy of the settlement is attached to the online version of this release at www.oag.ca.gov.

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