Calif. (Legal Newsline) — Several gas station owners operating underground storage tanks around Northern California have been ordered to pay $3 million in civil penalties stemming from environmental violations, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has announced.
defendants - Golden Gate Petroleum, Bay Area/Diablo Petroleum Co., Dennis
O’Keefe and Westgate Petroleum Company Inc.- were first
sued in 2007 for alleged violations of environmental protection laws. In 2011,
they were ordered to pay $3 million in penalties. An additional $3
million was suspended so long as the defendants complied with the terms of the
order. According to allegations, the defendants failed to do so.
The Contra Costa Superior Court handed down its most recent order on March 13.
“As the state’s chief enforcer of laws that
protect our environment, I will use my independent authority to safeguard our
public health and welfare whenever appropriate,” Becerra said in a statement. “I am pleased that this order held accountable those who would jeopardize
our health and water supply. It should send a message to all environmental
offenders that we are serious about protecting Californians and our
environment. I want to thank my predecessor, Attorney General Kamala Harris, for
her earlier pursuit of the enforcement of the suspended penalty, as well as
Deputy Attorney General Reed Sato, our office’s lead.”
Becerra in the environmental enforcement action were the offices of Alameda District Attorney Nancy O'Malley;
Humboldt District Attorney Maggie Fleming; Lake District Attorney Don Anderson;
Mendocino District Attorney Charles David Eyster; Monterey District Attorney
Dean Flippo; Santa Clara District Attorney Jeffrey Rosen; and Sonoma
District Attorney Jill Ravitch.