Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Steve Griffin | Tribune file photo) Downtown Salt Lake City can be seen in the background of this photo of the Tesoro rifinery near 400 West and 900 North.
Tesoro to pay $1.1 million for violation of clean-air rules
EPA » The settlement for breaking clean-air rules in Utah, 3 other states is largest penalty of its type.
First Published May 30 2013 05:54 pm • Last Updated Dec 07 2013 11:32 pm

In what the Environmental Protection Agency describes as the largest penalty of its type in the 40-year history of the nation’s clean fuels program, Tesoro Corp. has agreed to pay $1.1 million to settle claims it violated the federal Clean Air Act by failing to properly monitor the production of gasoline at refineries in Utah and three other states.

Tesoro’s Salt Lake City refinery and similar facilities in Mandan, N.D.; Anacortes, Wash.; and Kenai, Alaska; failed to keep adequate gasoline production records and didn’t document whether the fuel was sampled and tested to ensure it met federal standards before it was sold to the public, according to a 2010 federal court complaint the EPA filed in Washington, D.C.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

All gasoline produced, imported or sold in the U.S. must meet EPA standards that if violated could lead to an increase in emissions of harmful pollutants, such as volatile organic compounds and cancer-causing air toxins.

"EPA’s fuel regulations are vital safeguards that protect our nation’s air quality," Cynthia Giles, spokeswoman for the agency’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, said in announcing the penalty.

Tesoro spokeswoman Tina Barbee said Thursday in an email that the EPA’s allegations primarily related to the testing of gasoline batches and reporting of gasoline quality to the government between 2003 and 2006.

"Tesoro takes its environmental compliance obligations very seriously and worked diligently with the EPA and the Justice Department to resolve the issues raised in this matter," she said.

In addition to the fine, the settlement the EPA reached with Tesoro requires the company to adopt a compliance and auditing plan to ensure no future violations of EPA regulations.

Brian Moench, president of Utah Physicians for a Health Environment, believes Tesoro’s alleged violations were more egregious than a simple failure to file the right pieces of paper with the government.

"Failing to keep the proper records may not seem like a serious violations, but ... without those records there is no way for the EPA or independent observers to act in a watchdog role and ensure that nothing improper is going on in the [gasoline] production process," he said.

Moench doubts the $1.1 million fine will have much impact.

story continues below
story continues below

"Spread that $1.1 million out over four refineries and amortize the expense for a couple of years and it really won’t be much of a fine for Tesoro at all," he said. "It will be less than pocket change for them."


Twitter: @OberbeckBiz

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.