SACRAMENTO -- Attorney General Kamala D. Harris filed a proposed $24.5 million 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.
The Attorney General's office was joined in this enforcement action by Merced County District Attorney Larry Morse II, Humboldt County District Attorney Paul V. Gallegos, Nevada County District Attorney Clifford Newall and Sacramento County District Attorney Jan Scully.
The complaint, filed last Friday, alleges that since 1998, Chevron has violated anti-pollution laws about underground storage tanks by tampering with or disabling leak detection devices. The complaint also alleges that the company failed 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, according to a news release from Harris’ office, and submitted to the 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 Sept. 29 at 2 p.m.
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. --Sun-Star staff