Release 09-50
May 27, 2009

    Dimitri Stanich
BP pays $1 million in fines for violations of California clean air regulations
Procedural errors led to infractions

SACRAMENTO: The Air Resources Board announced today that it has fined BP West Coast Products over $1 million for 17 violations of California's clean air regulations relating to fuels.

Most of the violations were clerical errors that led to inaccurate reporting to enforcement officials. While the mistakes did not lead to increased emissions, the state depends on accurate accounting to assure that more serious errors do not occur.

"The large fine reflects the number of smaller violations and the size of BP's role in California's energy market," said ARB Chairman Mary D. Nichols. "Seemingly small mistakes can have major consequences and accurate accounting is crucial to protecting public health."

BP's violations, found by enforcement officials examining operations and BP informing ARB of errors, included misreporting the characteristics of fuel brought into the state, failures to appropriately report the shipping and unloading of fuel, and shipping fuel to California that did not meet evaporative emission standards. BP violations consisted of:

Fuel suppliers must account for the chemical characteristics of all fuel they bring into the state, clearly map the distribution of the fuel and advise the state of that schedule.

California's fuel supply system will undergo radical changes as the industry prepares to comply with the recently adopted low carbon fuel standard. The regulation, adopted in April, calls for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from California's transportation fuels by ten percent by 2020. The new regulation is aimed at diversifying the variety of fuels used for transportation, boosting the market for alternative-fuel vehicles and achieve 16 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emission reductions by 2020.

The Air Resources Board is a department of the California Environmental Protection Agency. ARB's mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. The ARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health based air quality standards.