SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Tesoro Corp. has paid more than $1 million in penalties for violating California reformulated gasoline regulations.
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has fined San Antonio, Texas-based Tesoro, which has two of its six refineries in California, $1.01 million for four separate violations over a period of 52 violation days.
According to CARB, in three of the cases Tesoro sold, offered for sale, supplied or offered for supply gasoline that had a sulfur, aromatics or olefin content exceeding California’s specified limits. The sulfur and hydrocarbon compounds worsen air pollution. In each of the three cases, the offending fuel entered the marketplace and was discovered during routine sampling by CARB inspectors.
Tesoro blamed laboratory issues for the noncompliant fuel and said it made changes to procedures to prevent future violations.
In a fourth incident, Tesoro had incorrectly combined conventional gasoline and California reformulated gasoline blendstock for oxygenate blending (CARBOB) at Kinder Morgan’s Concord terminal. Tesoro self-disclosed this violation, and cited operator error. None of this fuel entered the market.
Officials at CARB note that Tesoro cooperated fully and took steps to comply, to reduce the number of violation days and to prevent future similar incidents. About three-quarters of the $1 million in penalties will go to the California Air Pollution Control Fund, while the remaining money will go into a fund to pay for retrofitting school buses with diesel particulate filters.
San Antonio-based Tesoro is an independent refiner and marketer of petroleum products. Through its subsidiaries, it operates six refineries in the western United States with a combined capacity of more than 850,000 barrels per day and ownership in a logistics business which includes a 35% interest in Tesoro Logistics and ownership of its general partner. Tesoro’s retail-marketing system includes more than 2,200 gas stations under the ARCO, Shell, Exxon, Mobil, USA Gasoline and Tesoro brands.