Tesoro R&M agrees to civil penalty for air violations

San Francisco's Bay Area Air Quality Management District announced that Tesoro R&M has agreed to pay a $1.5 million civil penalty to settle air-quality violations at its 166,000 b/d Golden Eagle refinery.

Eric Watkins
Senior Correspondent

LOS ANGELES, May 9 -- San Francisco's Bay Area Air Quality Management District (AQMD) announced that Tesoro Refining & Marketing Co., San Antonio, has agreed to pay a $1.5 million civil penalty to settle air-quality violations at its 166,000 b/d Golden Eagle refinery at Martinez, Calif.

"The Air District takes necessary enforcement action to ensure that facilities do not endanger the health of their neighbors," said AQMD Executive Officer Jack Broadbent. "We will continue to ensure that Tesoro's operations meet legally required air quality standards."

"The Air District seeks penalties commensurate with the degree of noncompliance, in order to send a message that these violations will not be tolerated," added District Counsel Brian C. Bunger. "This $1.5 million penalty does just that."

According to AQMD, the settlement covers violations which occurred over 3 years, including "failure to inspect tanks and equipment, air pollution releases that resulted from equipment malfunctions, and administrative and reporting violations."

AQMD said Tesoro has committed to undertake a number of capital improvement projects and equipment upgrades, some of which go beyond the minimum required by law.

It said a number of outdated systems will be replaced with equipment that incorporates the best available pollution control technology.

AQMD also said Tesoro agreed to retrofit heavy-duty diesel vehicles in and around the refinery with particulate traps to reduce the amount of particulate pollution they emit.

Tesoro's Golden Eagle refinery is the company's largest facility and the second-largest refinery in Northern California. It was built by Associated Oil in 1913 to process heavy crude transported by pipeline from California's San Joaquin Valley.

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

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