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Top Air Pollution Penalties

April 01, 1994

The South Coast Air Quality Management District has responsibility to control air pollution. It can seek court-imposed fines against polluters of $25 to $25,000 a day based on such factors as the extent that emissions exceed legal limits, potential danger to the public, whether the violation was intentional, accidental or caused by negligence and the company's history of violations. These are the 10 top penalties in November: *COMPANY: Ultramar Inc. Wilmington TYPE OF BUSINESS: Refinery PENALTY: $32,750 VIOLATION: Numerous air pollution violations, including reactive organic compound emissions from leaky valves and flanges. *COMPANY: Commonwealth Land Title Co. Glendale TYPE OF BUSINESS: Title company PENALTY: $20,000 VIOLATION: Failure to submit an updated ride-sharing plan and failure to implement incentives in its approved plan. The company will spend an additional $10,000 to substitute a flex-fueled vehicle for its executive car. *COMPANY: Red Lion Inn Ontario TYPE OF BUSINESS: Hotel PENALTY: $18,000 VIOLATION: Failure to submit an updated ride-sharing plan on time, failure to implement incentives in its approved plan, failure to maintain adequate records. The hotel will spend an additional $23,000 to convert two conventional vans to compressed natural gas vehicles or replace them with clean-fueled vehicles and provide additional ride-sharing incentives. *COMPANY: GATX Tank Storage Terminals Corp. Carson TYPE OF BUSINESS: Storage and bulk-loading services PENALTY: $12,500 VIOLATION: For numerous violations, including altering equipment contrary to permit conditions, failure to obtain permits to install and operate an ethanol pump rack, operating equipment with a gas leak, public nuisance violation due to odors. *COMPANY: Unocal Refinery & Marketing Corp. Wilmington TYPE OF BUSINESS: Refinery PENALTY: $10,500 VIOLATION: Reactive organic compound emissions from operating equipment with leaky valves, failure to seal the leaks and maintain hatch covers. *COMPANY: Unocal Refinery & Marketing Corp. Carson TYPE OF BUSINESS: Refinery PENALTY: $6,250 VIOLATION: Operating equipment that was not in good working condition, failure to vent emissions to air pollution control equipment. *COMPANY: Arco Products Co. Carson TYPE OF BUSINESS: Refinery PENALTY: $5,500 VIOLATION: Release of fugitive volatile organic compound emissions. *COMPANY: Environmental Investigation & Action Inc. Fontana, Inglewood sites TYPE OF BUSINESS: Environmental management PENALTY: $5,000 VIOLATION: De-gassing an underground gasoline storage tank without the proper control equipment, failure to notify the AQMD within 24 hours of detecting soil contaminated with volatile organic compounds. *COMPANY: Shell Oil Co. Long Beach TYPE OF BUSINESS: Refinery PENALTY: $5,000 VIOLATION: Exceeding the allowable limits for loading rack back pressure. *COMPANY: Unocal Refining & Marketing Wilmington TYPE OF BUSINESS: Refinery PENALTY: $4,250 VIOLATION: Operating a storage tank contrary to permit conditions, emitting excessive emissions from its cogeneration unit, leaking excessive amounts of volatile organic compound vapors.

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