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November 2006

BP and Shell penalized $1.5 million

United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reached settlements on September 27 with BP Products and Shell, and two Shell subsidiaries Motiva and Equilon Enterprises LLC.

The companies produced and distributed gasoline that failed to meet the regulatory requirements. Use of noncomplying fuel in motor vehicles can cause an increase in emissions that can harm public health.

The settlements resolve alleged violations of various fuel standards that occurred from 1999 through 2004 at retail outlets, terminals and refineries located throughout the United States. A number of the violations involve the summertime gasoline standard for volatility, or tendency to evaporate, which is intended to reduce smog-causing hydrocarbon emissions. Some of the violations were self-reported by BP and Shell, while others were discovered through EPA’s inspection and compliance programs.

BP agreed to pay a civil penalty of $900,000 and Shell agreed to pay a civil penalty of $600,000. BP and Shell will also perform extensive remedial efforts — including quality assurance programs and technical changes in processes and equipment — to correct the alleged violations and to prevent the recurrence of similar violations.

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