BP, Shell Pay $1.5 Million

Penalties for gasoline violations, EPA said

WASHINGTON -- As part of ongoing efforts to protect public health by improving compliance with the motor vehicle fuels provisions of the federal Clean Air Act, the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reached settlements on September 27 with BP Products North America Inc. and with Motiva Enterprises LLC and Equilon Enterprises LLC, doing business as Shell Oil Products US.

The 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, [image-nocss] however, produced and distributed gasoline that failed to meet the regulatory requirements, said EPA. Use of noncomplying fuel in motor vehicles can cause an increase in emissions that can significantly harm public health, it said.

The settlements resolve alleged violations of various fuel standards that occurred from 1999 through 2004 at U.S. retail outlets, terminals and refineries. For example, 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 effortsincluding quality assurance programs and technical changes in processes and equipmentto correct the alleged violations and to prevent the recurrence of similar violations.

For more information on the BP and Motiva settlements, click here.

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