Shell fined $20M for underground fuel storage violations


The state attorney general Friday announced a $19.5 million judgment requiring Shell Oil Co. and its affiliates to take immediate steps to improve spill monitoring, employee training and hazardous waste management at Shell gas stations in San Diego County and statewide.

The judgment will ensure compliance by Shell Oil Co. and its affiliates with the state’s hazardous waste and underground fuel storage laws, according to California Attorney General Jerry Brown Jr.

The Alameda County Superior Court judgment requires Shell, its subsidiaries, corporate parents, affiliates and successors to pay nearly $20 million in civil and administrative penalties and immediately comply with state underground fuel storage and hazardous waste statutes, regulations and permits.

The stations cited are located statewide, including Los Angeles, Riverside and San Diego counties.

“Shell Oil Company disregarded the state’s underground fuel storage and hazardous waste laws, committing hundreds of environmental violations at its gasoline stations across California,” Brown said.

In 2006, the Attorney General’s Office launched a statewide investigation into Shell and its gasoline stations after the San Diego and Riverside County district attorneys settled cases with the company following numerous underground fuel storage violations.

Working with the California State Water Resources Control Board, the Attorney General’s Office investigated more than 1,000 Shell gasoline stations throughout California.

In March 2005, an inspector discovered that the operators of a Shell station located at 30245 Agoura Road in Agoura Hills failed to properly conduct and maintain secondary containment testing and monitoring for its gasoline tanks, according to the Attorney General’s Office.

The state’s inspector also found liquid and hazardous substances in the containment sump and Shell’s own inspector found liquid in the sump on previous visits to the station, according to Brown’s office.

Other Los Angeles County Shell stations found in violation were located in such cities as Agoura, Los Angeles, Azusa, Baldwin Park, Bellflower, Burbank, Carson, Covina and Diamond Bar.

Riverside County stations with violations included locations in Corona, Riverside, Indio, Cathedral City and Temecula.

San Diego County stations were cited in such cities as Carlsbad, Chula Vista, El Cajon, Encinitas, Escondido, Oceanside and San Diego.