Tesoro, EPA Reach $1.1 Million Agreement

     Tesoro Corporation has been issued a fine of more than $1 million for violating provisions of the Clean Air Act.

     In 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency filed a complaint that Tesoro wasn’t properly testing and keeping records of its conventional gasoline. This was happening at a handful of refineries in the western US, including the one in Kenai.

     On Thursday, the EPA announced an agreement with Tesoro. The company will pay a $1.1 million dollar fine and revamp its procedures for testing and reporting fuels.

     The records in question date back to 2003.

     “It has more to do with testing protocols…paperwork; what got filled out, what boxes got checked,” said Tesoro spokesperson Matt Gill.

     “At the end of the day, we believe that all the fuel that went out complied with regulations, just not within the manner that they wanted it tested,” he said.

     EPA officials handling this case in Washington DC couldn’t be reached in time for this story, but in a press release Thursday, the agency said “by taking action against violations of these regulations, the Agency is protecting people’s health and ensuring a level playing field for refiners that play by the rules.”

     Based on the consent decree handed down by the DC District Court, Tesoro must preserve all documents and records of its fuel tests for two years. The EPA can ask for samples from Tesoro any time.

     Gill says the company has already started working with EPA to clean up its testing protocol.

     “You see this and it makes you wonder about the quality of your fuels and what’s going out into the environment, and we certainly take this very seriously and we certainly don’t feel that any of our products that have gone out have been anything less than what people would expect,” he said.

     Tesoro will also prepare and implement a System Wide Compliance Plan and provide EPA with all of that paperwork as it pertains to the Clean Air Act.