CARB fines Chevron $329,700 for selling 'over-oxygenated' fuel

By Charlie Morasch, Land Line contributing writer | Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The California Air Resources Board recently fined a major U.S. oil producer for selling fuel that didn’t meet California’s standards.

In a news release, CARB announced it had reached a $329,700 settlement with Chevron Corp. after Chevron admitted to violating California’s reformulated gasoline regulations.

Chevron admitted to supplying gasoline in violation of California state regulations at its terminals in Montebello and Richmond, Calif. CARB said about 3.75 million gallons of the illegal fuel were supplied for nearly seven weeks in late 2010 at the company’s Montebello terminal, while about 660,000 gallons were stocked for four days in April 2011 at the Richmond terminal.

“In each case, the self-disclosed violations were for a total of 4.4 million gallons of over-oxygenated fuel hat exceeded the standard,” CARB said in the release. “In both cases, Chevron blamed an equipment malfunction for causing meters to inaccurately report the volume of premium grade CARBOB, a blendstock that is mixed with oxygenate before being trucked to retail gas stations.”

Oxygenates are added to gasoline to reduce carbon monoxide and soot created during the fuel combustion process.

Of the penalties, $247,275 will go to the California Air Pollution Control Fund and $82,425 will go to the Statewide School Bus and Diesel Emission Reduction Supplemental Environmental Project administrated by the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District to retrofit or replace older school buses in California.

CARB said Chevron cooperated fully during the fuel investigation.

“Chevron’s over-oxygenated fuel made its way to retail gas stations, resulting in harmful emissions being released into our air,” CARB Enforcement Chief Jim Ryden said, according to the release. “Enforcing requirements for fuel composition is just one way that ARB helps reduce air pollution from motor vehicles, a major source of concern in California.”

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