IN THE NEWS: San Bernardino County wins $2 million legal award from BP Oil

This result should send a strong message to would-be environmental violators: If you don’t follow the laws and rules designed to protect our natural resources, you will be prosecuted.
— Mike Ramos

By Richard Brooks, The Press-Enterprise

SAN BERNARDINO >> San Bernardino County will receive $2 million of a $14 million legal award to settle allegations that underground fuel tanks belonging to BP and its subsidiary Arco leaked.

San Bernardino County officials said BP failed to maintain and monitor tanks at gas stations around the state to ensure they didn’t leak fuel into the groundwater. Sixty-seven of those stations were in San Bernardino County.

San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos announced the settlement. He was joined in the lawsuit against BP West Coast Products LLC, BP Products North America and Atlantic Richfield Company — Arco by counterparts at Alameda, Glen, Merced, Nevada, Placer, San Diego, Stanislaus and Yuba counties.

“This result should send a strong message to would-be environmental violators: If you don’t follow the laws and rules designed to protect our natural resources, you will be prosecuted,” Ramos said in a statement.

The violations, a BP spokesman said in a written statement, “did not result in any harm” to public health or the environment.

“We believe settling these claims … is in the best interest of all of our stakeholders,” BP’s Geoff Morrell said. “BP is and remains committed to safe and compliant operations.”

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