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Phillips 66 and ConocoPhillips sued for environmental violations

By Office of the State Attorney General

Underground storage tanks at 560 gas stations in 34 counties improperly inspected and maintained

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Attorney General Kamala D. Harris has filed a civil lawsuit against Phillips 66 and ConocoPhillips for allegedly violating state law by failing to properly inspect and maintain underground tanks used to store gasoline for retail sale at more than 560 gas stations in California.

“The state’s hazardous-waste laws help protect our residents from contaminated groundwater,” Harris said. “This lawsuit safeguards public health by ensuring proper maintenance of the tanks that store fuel beneath many California communities.”

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.

The complaint, filed on January 2, 2013 in Alameda County Superior Court, alleges that since November 2006, Phillips 66 and ConocoPhillips have improperly monitored, inspected and maintained underground storage tanks used to store gasoline for retail sale. The complaint alleges that the defendants tampered with, or disabled, leak detection devices and failed to test secondary containment systems, conduct monthly inspections, train employees in proper protocol and maintain operational alarm systems, among other violations. The lawsuit also alleges that the defendants improperly handled and disposed of hazardous wastes and materials associated with the underground storage tanks at retail gas stations throughout the state.

A statewide investigation led by the Attorney General’s office found violations of hazardous materials and hazardous waste laws and regulations at gas stations in 34 counties across the state.

Deputy Attorney Generals Brett J. Morris and Deborah Halberstadt are prosecuting the case for Attorney General Harris’ Environment Section.

For more information, visit http://oag.ca.gov.


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