SAN FRANCISCO -- California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris has filed a civil lawsuit against Phillips 66 and ConocoPhillips for allegedly violating state law by failing to properly inspect and maintain underground tanks used to store gasoline for retail sale at more than 560 gas stations in California.
"The state's hazardous waste laws help protect our residents from contaminated groundwater," Harris said. "This lawsuit safeguards public health by ensuring proper maintenance of the tanks that store fuel beneath many California communities."
Kamala Harris The complaint filed on Wednesday in Alameda County Superior Court alleges that, since November 2006, Phillips 66 and ConocoPhillips have improperly monitored, inspected and maintained underground storage tanks (USTs) used to store gasoline for retail sale.
The complaint alleges that the defendants tampered with or disabled leak detection devices and failed to test secondary containment systems, conduct monthly inspections, train employees in proper protocol, and maintain operational alarm systems, among other violations. The lawsuit also alleges that the defendants improperly handled and disposed of hazardous wastes and materials associated with the underground storage tanks at retail gas stations throughout the state.
A statewide investigation led by the AG's office found violations of hazardous materials and hazardous waste laws and regulations at gas stations in 34 counties across the state.
The assets and liabilities of the retail locations are no longer part of ConocoPhillips and are owned by Phillips 66, Daren Beaudo, a spokesperson for ConocoPhillips, told Bloomberg.
Janet Grothe, a Phillips 66 spokesperson, told the news agency that the company does not comment on legal matters.
The case is The People v. Phillips 66, RG13661894, Superior Court of California, Alameda County (Oakland).
See File Attachments below to view a copy of the complaint.