Thursday, October 05, 2006

BP & Shell Pay Violations of $1.5 Million for Unhealthy Gas

EPA reached settlements on Sept. 27 with BP Products and Shell, and two Shell subsidiaries Motiva and Equilon Enterprises LLC for threatening public health by producing noncompliant gasoline. EPA sets gasoline and diesel fuel standards under the Clean Air Act to reduce air pollutants such as smog, carbon monoxide and air toxics from motor vehicles. The companies, however, produced and distributed gasoline that failed to meet the regulatory requirements.

Use of noncomplying fuel in motor vehicles can cause an increase in emissions that can significantly harm public health. The settlements resolve violations of various fuel standards that occurred from 1999 through 2004 at retail outlets, terminals and refineries located throughout the U.S. A number of the violations involve the summertime gasoline standard for volatility, or tendency to evaporate, which is intended to reduce smog-causing hydrocarbon emissions. Some of the violations were self-reported by BP and Shell, while others were discovered through EPA's inspection and compliance programs.

BP agreed to pay a civil penalty of $900,000 and Shell agreed to pay a civil penalty of $600,000. BP and Shell will also perform extensive remedial efforts -- including quality assurance programs and technical changes in processes and equipment -- to correct the alleged violations and to prevent the recurrence of similar violations. (Source: EPA)

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