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U.S. EPA fines Shell Oil of Bakersfield $16,500 for chemical reporting violations

Release Date: 12/1/2005
Contact Information: Wendy L.Chavez, 415-947-4248

Equilon/Shell failed to correctly report toxic chemicals to the agency in 2000 and 2001

SAN FRANCISCO -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently settled with Equilon Enterprises LLC/Shell Oil in Bakersfield, Calif. for $16,500 for failing to accuratley report releases from chemicals used at the facility, a violation of the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act.

The company allegedly failed to accurately report use of cyclohexane and MTBE to the annual Toxic Release Inventory reporting system in 2000 and 2001.

"These reports provide citizens with valuable information about the toxic chemicals being released in their communities and it is important that these reports are accurate," said Enrique Manzanilla, the EPA's Communities and Ecosystems Division director for the Pacific Southwest. "This case should remind others that the EPA is maintaining a close watch over chemical reporting practices and is serious about enforcing community right-to-know laws."

The facility self reported the violations, and was therefore eligible for penalty reductions under the EPA's Penalty Policy. The company has since submitted corrected reports for 2000 and 2001.

Federal law requires that facilities using toxic chemicals over specified amounts file annual reports of their chemical releases with the EPA and the state. Information from these reports is then compiled into a national database and made available to the public.

Each year the EPA publishes a report entitled the Toxic Release Inventory Public Data Release, which summarizes the prior year's submissions and provides a trend analysis of toxic chemical releases.

For more information on the program visit: http://www.epa.gov/tri. The U.S. EPA's environmental databases, including TRI data, can be accessed at: http://www.epa.gov/enviro.

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