Oil refiner paying $4M civil penalty
COLUMBUS, Ohio (Legal Newsline) - Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray and Ohio Department of Commerce Director Kimberly Zurz announced on Tuesday that they have reached a $4 million settlement with a Texas oil refining company. The settlement is the biggest underground storage tank enforcement deal in state history. San Antonio-based The Premcor Refining Group, Inc., was alleged to have released petroleum from 45 underground storage tanks in 26 Ohio counties. Under the terms of the settlement, the refining company has agreed to 26 separate consent orders which will result in the cleaning of 55 former Ohio gas stations. In addition to the $4 million civil penalty, the agreement orders Premcor to pay $3,000 per county for enforcement costs. "This agreement will give these Ohio communities peace of mind, knowing both that the sites will be properly examined and that those responsible will be held accountable," Cordray said. Premcor, the owner and operator of numerous gas stations throughout the state, allegedly released petroleum from its underground tanks and didn't examine its environmental impact. The counties where the consent orders are being filed include Allen, Ashtabula, Butler, Clermont, Columbiana, Crawford, Cuyahoga, Delaware, Franklin, Hamilton, Knox, Lorain, Lucas, Marion, Medina, Montgomery, Portage, Richland, Seneca, Shelby, Stark, Summit, Union, Van Wert, Wayne and Wood. Cordray pursued legal action against Premcor on behalf of the Division of State Fire Marshal Bureau of Underground Storage Tank Regulations, which is part of the Ohio Department of Commerce.