Big Oil Names Ordered to Provide Clean Water

March 13, 2000
EPA ordered 13 parties to help replace gasoline additive-contaminated drinking water to ensure clean drinking water for California residents.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ordered 13 parties to help replace gasoline additive-contaminated drinking water in West Los Angeles' Charnock Sub-Basin aquifier to ensure clean drinking water for Santa Monica residents.

Those receiving orders are Chevron USA Inc., Exxon Mobil Corp., ARCO, Conoco Inc., Douglas Oil Co. of Calif., Kayo Oil Co., Unocal Corp., Mobil Oil Corp., Tosco Corp., Thrifty Oil Co., Best California Gas, Kazuho Nishida and HLW Corp.

These parties join Shell Oil Co., Shell Oil Products Co. and Equilon Enterprises, who EPA and the LA Regional Water Quality Control Board ordered on Sept. 22, 1999 to provide drinking water.

"We believe it is important in this case to require those who have contaminated a community's drinking water to provide replacement water," said Julie Anderson, director of EPA's regional Waste Management Division.

"The next step is to determine the best means to remediate the contamination and restore the water basin."

Remediation is already in progress at several sites.

Both the City of Santa Monica and Southern California Water Co. operated drinking water wells in West Los Angeles which they shut down in 1996 due to contamination by the gasoline additive, Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE).

With seven wells out of service, Shell, Chevron and Exxon initially agreed to reimburse the city and the water company for water replacement costs.

The agreement with the city expired on January 6, 2000.

Under EPA's and the Regional Board's September orders, Shell continued providing water on Jan. 7.

This was in response to finding from the early 1990s. At that time, underground storage tanks at a service station operated by Shell released gasoline containing MTBE.

EPA has since found that service stations operated by the parties named above also contributed to the Charnock Sub-Basin contamination.

EPA and the Regional Board plan to take additional enforcement actions to address MTBE groundwater pollution in the Charnock Sub-Basin.

Of the 28 gasoline underground storage tank locations investigated in the area, at least 24 have leaked fuel containing MTBE.

About the Author

EHS Today Staff

EHS Today's editorial staff includes:

Dave Blanchard, Editor-in-Chief: During his career Dave has led the editorial management of many of Endeavor Business Media's best-known brands, including IndustryWeekEHS Today, Material Handling & LogisticsLogistics Today, Supply Chain Technology News, and Business Finance. In addition, he serves as senior content director of the annual Safety Leadership Conference. With over 30 years of B2B media experience, Dave literally wrote the book on supply chain management, Supply Chain Management Best Practices (John Wiley & Sons, 2021), which has been translated into several languages and is currently in its third edition. He is a frequent speaker and moderator at major trade shows and conferences, and has won numerous awards for writing and editing. He is a voting member of the jury of the Logistics Hall of Fame, and is a graduate of Northern Illinois University.

Adrienne Selko, Senior Editor: In addition to her roles with EHS Today and the Safety Leadership Conference, Adrienne is also a senior editor at IndustryWeek and has written about many topics, with her current focus on workforce development strategies. She is also a senior editor at Material Handling & Logistics. Previously she was in corporate communications at a medical manufacturing company as well as a large regional bank. She is the author of Do I Have to Wear Garlic Around My Neck?, which made the Cleveland Plain Dealer's best sellers list.

Nicole Stempak, Managing Editor:  Nicole Stempak is managing editor of EHS Today and conference content manager of the Safety Leadership Conference.

Sponsored Recommendations

Free Webinar: ISO 45001 – A Commitment to Occupational Health, Safety & Personal Wellness

May 30, 2024
Secure a safer and more productive workplace using proven Management Systems ISO 45001 and ISO 45003.

ISO 45003 – Psychological Health and Safety at Work

May 30, 2024
ISO 45003 offers a comprehensive framework to expand your existing occupational health and safety program, helping you mitigate psychosocial risks and promote overall employee...

DH Pace, national door and dock provider, reduces TRIR and claims with EHS solution

May 29, 2024
Find out how DH Pace moved from paper/email/excel to an EHS platform, changing their culture. They reduced TRIR from 4.8 to 1.46 and improved their ability to bid on and win contracts...

Case Study: Improve TRIR from 4+ to 1 with EHS Solution and Safety Training

May 29, 2024
Safety training and EHS solutions improve TRIR for Complete Mechanical Services, leading to increased business. Moving incidents, training, and other EHS procedures into the digital...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of EHS Today, create an account today!