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Mobil and BP will pay EPA $343,454 to resolve violations in American Samoa

Release Date: 8/17/2005
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, 808-541-2711

HONOLULU -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has recently reached a settlement with Mobil Oil Australia Ltd. and BP Southwest Pacific Ltd. for alleged violations of the EPA's gasoline detergent additive regulations in American Samoa.

The companies will be paying penalties of $69,000 for Mobil Australia and $28,360 for BP Pacific. Mobil Australia will also spend $160,454 and BP Pacific, $85,640 to purchase and install respiratory equipment for the LBJ Medical Center in Faga'alu.

In October and November 2002, Mobil Australia and BP Pacific provided information to the EPA about the detergent additive violations that occurred between April 2000 and August 2002.

"This agreement successfully settles our cases with Mobil Australia and BP Pacific. We are pleased the companies have been cooperative in making the purchase of respiratory equipment a part of this settlement to benefit the residents of American Samoa," said John McCarroll, manager of the EPA Pacific Southwest Region's Pacific Islands Office. "In addition, the companies understand the importance of supplying gasoline with legal amounts of detergent additives as well as providing correct and complete transfer documentation when they transport gasoline."

The EPA alleges that:

* Mobil shipped to American Samoa at least 23 barge loads of gasoline completely lacking the required detergent additives;

* Mobil did not provide the correct transfer documentation accurately advising the additive status of the gasoline in the shipments;

* BP accepted, and mixed into the American Samoa gasoline supply, the 23 barge loads of Mobil gasoline that did not contain the proper additives, and participated in the sale of the fuel;

* BP failed to require from Mobil the proper transfer documentation concerning the detergent additive status of the gasoline.

The Clean Air Act requires gasoline to contain a detergent additive to reduce the formation of deposits in motor vehicle engines. Engine deposits have been shown to cause an increase in exhaust emissions. The EPA estimates that this requirement reduces nationwide vehicle exhaust emissions by about 600,000 tons per year.