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Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Announces $14 Million Settlement With BP for Underground Fuel Storage Tank Violations

Thursday, November 17, 2016
Contact: (415) 703-5837, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

SAN FRANCISCO – 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 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.

"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 was 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, 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 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.  In 2011, Attorney General Harris announced a $24.5 million settlement with Chevron U.S.A. Inc. and Chevron Stations Inc., over law enforcement allegations that the companies violated state hazardous materials and hazardous waste laws with respect to its underground gasoline tanks.

A copy of the complaint and stipulation of judgment is attached to the online version of this release at www.oag.ca.gov/news.

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