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Lawsuit: ARCO/BP Failed to Maintain Underground Storage Tanks

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, February 4, 2013

The California Attorney General has filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against ARCO and British Petroleum over safety concerns at hundreds of California gas stations. 

Tampering with leak detection devices, improper disposal of hazardous waste, failure to monitor or inspect underground tanks: those are just some of the violations alleged in the lawsuit.   Brian Nelson is a Special Assistant Attorney General.  He says the violations are a public safety issue, "It may pose significant dangers if that gasoline is released into the environment including: threats to our ground water, safety threats in terms of fire and explosion, possible inhalation of dangerous vapors, contamination of drinking water."

Nelson says a year-long investigation found violations at 780 gas stations, "We've seen that frankly throughout the state. I think when you have an allegation of actual tampering with the sensors, whether it's a problem with training or something more affirmative, it's certainly a pervasive culture that we've seen."

Some violations date back seven years.  Each violation has a minimum $500 per violation/per day fine. The Attorney General's office has filed similar suits against Phillips 66 and ConocoPhillips, Shell and Chevron since 2009.
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