California UST Violations Will Cost BP $14M
SAN DIEGO — The San Diego County District Attorney (DA) has reached a $14-million settlement with BP West Coast Products LLC, BP Products North America Inc. and Atlantic Richfield Co. over their violation of underground storage tank laws, reported NBC Los Angeles.
A total of 74 gas stations located across San Diego County are connected to the settlement case.
BP failed to comply with state laws and regulations regarding the use of underground tanks used to store gasoline at retail sale for about 780 gas stations in California over a decade, an official from San Diego County's DA office said.
San Diego County’s DA, the California Attorney General’s office and eight other district attorneys across the state made complaints that the companies did not follow state requirements of proper inspection and maintenance, and broke additional hazardous material and waste laws. They also state that since 2006, BP has improperly handled and disposed of hazardous material, and failed to meet various maintenance regulations.
"The DA's Environmental Protection Unit continues its important work in safeguarding our neighborhoods against violations like these and contributing to a healthier county," District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis stated.
DA officials added that BP did not meet requirements to test secondary containment systems, conduct monthly inspections, train employees properly and maintain alarm systems.
Under the current settlement, BP will be subject to an injunction requiring future compliance with state laws and regulations on underground storage tanks, the news outlet reported.
Of the $14-million settlement, $8,945,000 is in civil penalties; $3,745,000 is in investigation and prosecution fees; and $1,310,000 is to fund environmental state projects. San Diego County will receive $275,000 in civil penalties; $125,000 in costs; and $325,000 in countywide environmental projects.
According to DA officials, BP currently owns or operates 73 facilities across California. At the beginning of the investigation, it owned about 780.