Karyn Sinunu, Assistant District Attorney   CONTACT PERSON:
John Fioretta, Deputy District Attorney
Environmental Protection Unit
(408) 792-2638   For Release on October 23, 2002     OIL COMPANY PAYS RECORD PENALTY FOR NOT CLEANING UP LEAKING GAS STATION TANKS   In a civil judgment filed yesterday, BP Products North America, Inc. paid $230,000 for violating state law regulating gasoline underground storage tanks (USTs).  This is the largest judgment to date in an UST prosecution brought by the Santa Clara County District Attorney. BP admitted that it failed to perform monitoring, testing, and reporting, as required by state law, for two stations it formerly owned, 3951 Snell Avenue and 1099 Blossom Hill Road, in San Jose.  Contamination from petroleum, including high levels of MTBE, was discovered in the soil and/or groundwater at each site.  MTBE is a gasoline additive that makes water unfit to drink.  BP has not yet completely cleaned up either location. As part of the settlement, BP paid $200,000 in civil penalties and $30,000 to fund a study that will determine how to more accurately detect whether USTs leak.  BP also agreed to a detailed injunction prohibiting future violations and specifying future compliance measures.   The Santa Clara Valley Water District investigated the violations.  The District Attorney’s Environmental Protection Unit prosecuted the case.   ###

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