Tesoro fined for Violating CA Gasoline Rules

Wednesday, July 15, 2015 @ 03:07 PM gHale

Tesoro Corp. paid $1,014,000 in penalties for violations of California’s reformulated gasoline regulations, state officials said.

Tesoro supplied gasoline in violation of state regulations from two Tesoro refineries and one terminal for a period of 52 violation days, said the California Air Resources Board. Tesoro is the second-largest independent refining and marketing company in the Western U.S.

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“Our investigation revealed that Tesoro was violating California’s fuel requirements, and this agreement helps ensure these types of violations will not occur in the future,” said ARB Enforcement Chief Todd Sax. “We expect all companies that supply fuel in California to meet our fuel requirements that help protect Californians from lung-damaging ozone and airborne toxic chemicals that can cause cancer.”

In all there were four separate violations by Tesoro.

In three cases, Tesoro sold, offered for sale, supplied or offered for supply California gasoline which had either a sulfur content, aromatics content or olefin content exceeding specified limits. All three – sulfur and the two hydrocarbon compounds — contribute to air pollution, and in each of these cases the violating fuel got into the marketplace. ARB inspectors discovered the three violations during a routine sampling inspection. Tesoro cited problems related to its laboratory and said they made changes to its laboratory procedures to prevent similar violations in the future.

In the fourth incident, at Kinder Morgan’s Concord Terminal, Tesoro incorrectly combined conventional gasoline and CARBOB, or the California Reformulated Gasoline Blendstock for Oxygenate Blending. CARBOB is the ‘blendstock’ form of gasoline before an oxygenate, such as ethanol, ends up added in to make finished gasoline found at gas stations. Tesoro self-disclosed the violation, citing operator error. None of that fuel ever entered the marketplace.

Tesoro fully cooperated with ARB and took diligent steps to comply, reduce the number of days of violation and prevent recurrence of similar situations.

Of the $1 million in penalties, $760,500 will go to the California Air Pollution Control Fund and $253,500 will go to fund the retrofit of California school buses with diesel particulate filters.