Northern California

Three Petroleum Distributors to Pay $3 Million in Fines

Three petroleum distributors in Northern California have agreed to pay $3 million in penalties over environmental violations, including failing to maintain their underground storage tanks.

Attorney General Xavier Becerra said Tuesday that Contra Costa Superior Court ordered Golden Gate Petroleum and its sole shareholder, Dennis O'Keefe, Bay Area/Diablo Petroleum Company and Westgate Petroleum Company, Inc., to pay the fine.

Becerra said the businesses were sued in 2007 for failing to maintain underground storage tanks at gasoline stations, disabling leak detection devices and improperly handling hazardous wastes and substances.

Four years later, the companies were ordered to pay the state and several Northern California counties $6 million in penalties. The court suspended half of the penalty as long as they complied with environmental protection requirements.

Becerra says the companies didn't comply and that on Monday the court ordered them to pay the remaining $3 million in fines.

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