SAN FRANCISCO — Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today announced an $11.5 million settlement with Phillips 66 and ConocoPhillips. The settlement resolves 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 the state of California.
“Phillips 66 and ConocoPhillips failed to adequately monitor hazardous materials in large gasoline holding tanks, which endangered nearby water supplies," said Attorney General Harris. "This settlement holds Phillips 66 and ConocoPhillips accountable for this dangerous negligence and will ensure future compliance with environmental laws.”
The Attorney General’s office was joined in this enforcement action by Alameda County District Attorney Nancy E. O’Malley, El Dorado County District Attorney Vern Pierson, Merced County District Attorney Larry D. Morse II, Nevada County District Attorney Clifford Newell, Placer County District Attorney R. Scott Owens, San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael A. Ramos, and Stanislaus County District Attorney Birgit Fladager.
“My office is committed to protecting the environment and the public from potential exposure to hazardous materials,” says District Attorney O’Malley. “When corporations place our valuable water resources in jeopardy by failing to comply with environmental laws and regulations, they must be held accountable. The settlement today achieves this important goal.”
The complaint, filed in January of 2013, alleges that – since 2006 – Phillips 66 and ConocoPhillips have violated anti-pollution laws with respect to underground storage tanks by failing to properly maintain leak detection devices, test secondary containment systems, conduct monthly inspections, train employees in proper protocol, and maintain operational alarm systems, among other violations.
A statewide investigation found violations of hazardous materials and hazardous waste laws and regulations at gas stations in 34 counties across the state. The companies have sold nearly all of their interests in the underground storage tank sites in California. The parties have agreed to resolve the matter, and the Alameda County Superior Court approved the final judgment.
Deputy Attorneys General Brett J. Morris and Jason P. Garelick handled the case for Attorney General Harris’ Environment Section.
A copy of the settlement agreement is attached to the online version of this release at oag.ca.gov.