DA Announces $2 million Settlement With BP and ARCO

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. – District Attorney Michael Ramos announced a $2.07 million settlement with BP West Coast Products LLC, BP Products North America and Atlantic Richfield Company for violations of environmental law in San Bernardino County.

Part of an overall $14 million case for violations statewide, the settlement resolves ongoing civil litigation involving alleged violations of state laws governing the proper operation and maintenance of underground storage tanks used to store fuel at the companies’ gas stations.

The companies failed to comply with hazardous materials and hazardous waste laws at hundreds of gasoline stations owned or operated by the companies in the state of California, 67 of which were in San Bernardino County.

“BP failed to properly maintain and monitor their underground storage tank systems so as to prevent leaks of fuel into our groundwater supplies,” said District Attorney Ramos. “This result should send a strong message to would-be environmental violators: If you don’t follow the laws and rules designed to protect our natural resources, you will be prosecuted.”

The complaint filed in August of 2013, alleged that since 2006 BP violated environmental laws at gas stations that BP owned or controlled 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.

According to Lead Deputy District Attorney Douglas Poston, who oversees the Consumer and Environmental Protection Unit and prosecuted the matter, a statewide investigation found violations of hazardous materials and hazardous waste laws and regulations at gas stations in 36 counties across the state.

“BP has sold nearly all of their interests in the underground storage tank sites in California,” said Poston. “The parties have agreed to resolve the matter and anticipate final judicial approval of the settlement.”

San Bernardino County joined Alameda, Glen, Merced, Nevada, Placer, San Diego, Stanislaus, and Yuba Counties in the action brought by the California Attorney General.

(SB County District Attorney press release)

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