Valero to Pay Over $300,000 in Bay Area air quality fines

Oil company settles claims against it for Benecia refinery

by Brian Leubitz

Sure, you know Valero from their brightly colored gas stations. But if you’ve been following California politics for a while, you may remember when Valero got involved here. They were a big funder in Prop 23, a measure to repeal our landmark climate change legislation. It turns out that they have some other plans for chemicals in California air, as they have settled and acknowledge violations:

The Valero Refining Co. has agreed to pay more than $300,000 for repeated air quality violations, including gas leaks, over the past few years, regulators announced Tuesday.

The company will pay $300,300 in civil penalties for 33 violations in 2011 and 2012 at its petroleum refinery in Benicia, according to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. (SF Chronicle)

Valero actually self-reported, so this is somewhat a sign of the system working. However, for the people of the East Bay who face increased asthma rates, the system really isn’t working. Children in Richmond have asthma rates twice normal rates, and air quality is thought to be chiefly responsible.