ConocoPhillips, Phillips 66 Must Pay $11.5M To Settle Hazardous Waste Violations

Two Texas-based companies have been ordered to pay a total of $11.5 million to close the book on allegations that hundreds of their gas stations may have put local water supplies in California at risk.

The Associated Press reports the fine, shared by Phillips 66 and ConocoPhillips, was handed down to resolve law enforcement allegations that the companies violated state laws governing the proper operation and maintenance of underground storage tanks used to store fuel at nearly 560 stores in state.

According to California Attorney General Kamala Harris’ office, the two companies failed to comply with hazardous materials and hazardous waste laws beginning back in 2006.

The state’s complaint, which was filed in January 2013, claims Phillips 66 and ConocoPhillips violated anti-pollution laws with respect to underground storage tanks 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.

“Phillips 66 and ConocoPhillips failed to adequately monitor hazardous materials in large gasoline holding tanks, which endangered nearby water supplies,” said Attorney General Harris. “This settlement holds Phillips 66 and ConocoPhillips accountable for this dangerous negligence and will ensure future compliance with environmental laws.”

The investigation found violations of hazardous materials and hazardous waste laws and regulations at gas stations in 34 counties in the state.

In addition to paying the $11.5 million fine, the AG’s office says that the companies have since sold nearly all of their interests in the underground storage tanks in California.

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Announces $11.5 Million Settlement with Phillips 66 and ConocoPhillips for Gas Tank Violations [California Attorney General]
2 gasoline companies ordered to pay $11.5M for violations [Santa Cruz Sentinel]