San Luis Obispo Shell station part of $19.5 million judgment
November 10, 2009
By KAREN VELIE
The Shell Oil Co. will pay $19.5 million in civil penalties and fees to cover environmental violations at its California gas stations including reports that operators tampered with or disabling leak detection devices at a now-defunct Shell gas station in San Luis Obispo.
“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,” state Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown said in a statement.
In addition to imposed monetary damages, the company is also required to improve spill and alarm monitoring, hazardous waste management, and emergency response at its gas stations.
In 2005, a San Luis Obispo health inspector discovered that the Shell station, located at the time at 12398 Los Osos Valley Rd., had failed to maintain the required leak detection monitoring system for its gasoline tanks. Shell sold the station a few years ago and it was replaced with a parking lot.
After district attorneys in San Diego and Riverside counties filed successful suits against Shell in 2006, Brown’s office mounted an investigation into environmental violations at more than a 1,000 corporate-owned Shell stations statewide, which included researching past violations.