Contra Costa, 22 other DA’s reach settlement with gas station owner for underground storage tank environmental violations

Gas station underground storage tank diagram. Source: EPA

$1.1 million in civil penalties; 113 tanks statewide, seven in Contra Costa County

By Bobbi Mauler, Executive Assistant, Contra Costa County Office of the District Attorney

Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton announced today that the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office, together with 22 other California District Attorneys and City Attorneys, have reached a settlement with the Orange, California-based Hassan & Sons, Inc., H&S Energy, LLC and H&S Energy Products, LLC (formerly known as Colonial Energy, LLC),  (collectively referred to as “H&S Energy”) over allegations that the companies violated state laws regarding the operation and maintenance of motor vehicle fuel underground storage tanks (“USTs”). The settlement includes $1,100,000 in civil penalties, and investigative costs. H&S Energy has 113 fueling stations in California, of which, seven locations are in Contra Costa County. The settlement follows an investigation by local environmental health agencies of H&S Energy stations’ non-compliance with many provisions of the UST regulations.

The companies, started in 1996, have built and acquired gasoline and convenience stores throughout the state under the Chevron, Texaco, Shell, Extra Mile, and their own, Power Market brand, including locations in Bay Point, Brentwood, Oakley, Pittsburg and Martinez.

“UST owners and operators must comply with the applicable regulations in order to prevent potential harm to the environment,” said D.A. Becton. “H&S Energy was cooperative with the People’s investigation and expended significant resources in order to bring their stations into compliance.”

Under the settlement, which includes a Final Judgment and Permanent Injunction entered in Solano County Superior Court Case No. FCS057332 by the Honorable E. Bradley Nelson, H&S Energy must implement certain compliance assurance programs including hiring an environmental compliance manager and bi-annual environmental audits and reports submitted to the People. In addition, H&S Energy must pay $900,000 in civil penalties and $200,000 in costs. $550,000 is due within five days after entry of judgment, and the remaining $550,000 is due October 22, 2022.

Allen Payton contributed to this report.

 

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