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September 13, 2011 > Proposed $24.5M settlement with Chevron gas station and tank owners

Proposed $24.5M settlement with Chevron gas station and tank owners

Submitted By Office of the State Attorney General

California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris the filing of a proposed $24.5M settlement with Chevron U.S.A. Inc. and Chevron Stations Inc. The proposed settlement will resolve law enforcement allegations that the companies violated state laws governing hazardous materials and hazardous waste by failing to properly inspect and maintain underground tanks used to store gasoline for retail sale.

"There must be accountability and consequences when the environment is compromised and innocent people are potentially exposed to hazardous materials that could endanger their health," Harris said. "This settlement accomplishes both and will protect Californians by mandating a compliance program for Chevron's underground storage tanks."

The Attorney General's office was joined in this enforcement action by Humboldt County District Attorney Paul V. Gallegos, Merced County District Attorney Larry D. Morse II, Nevada County District Attorney Clifford Newall and Sacramento County District Attorney Jan Scully.

The complaint, filed on September 2, 2011, alleges that, since 1998, Chevron has violated anti-pollution laws with respect to underground storage tanks by tampering with or disabling leak detection devices and failing to 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 32 counties across the state.

The parties have agreed to resolve the matter, and on September 7, 2011, submitted to Alameda County Superior Court a proposed final judgment that would impose a permanent injunction on the defendants. The hearing on the motion for judicial approval of the settlement is scheduled for September 29 at 2 p.m. in Department 20.

If approved by the Court, the settlement would require Chevron to maintain a statewide compliance program, which includes a training program for employees and a database to track how underground storage tanks are monitored, among other requirements.

Deputy Attorney General Brett J. Morris handled the case for Attorney General Harris' Environment Section.

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