(January 21, 2005) -- The South Coast Air Quality Management District has filed a $183,114,000 lawsuit against BP West Coast Products alleging thousands of air quality
violations at the company's Carson refinery (1801 E. Sepulveda Blvd.)
It follows a 2003 action filed by AQMD against BP which seeks $413,985,000 (the largest penalty ever sought by the agency) for thousands of similar alleged air quality violations. That suit is still pending.
The latest AQMD action, filed in L.A. Superior Court's central district, alleges BP illegally released air pollutants by failing to adequately inspect, maintain, repair and properly operate thousands of pieces of equipment as required by AQMD regulations based on actions alleged to have occurred between August 2002 and early October 2004.
BP spokesman Phil Cochrane told LBReport.com, "We do take the allegations very seriously and respectfully disagree with the allegations. BP continues to work very hard to be in compliance with all laws and all regulations at all times."
Last fall, the Port of Long Beach announced it is partnering with BP to implement PoLB's first use of "cold ironing" (dockside plug in power) at BP's terminal in 2006. BP's web site and advertising cite the firm's environmental consciousness (BP = "beyond petroleum"). BP's Carson facility web site says its mission is to "deliver clean energy to our customers, in a safe and environmentally responsible way, while providing a safe place to work for our employees."
The web site says the Carson refinery has existed since 1922, employs approximately 1050 personnel and refines crude oil in petroleum products.
"The main product slate is California (CARB) gasoline, California (CARB) diesel, and jet fuel and anode grade coke. The by-products are propylene (sold to ARCO Polypropylene LLC), propane, butanes, some petrochemicals and fuel gas (sold to Watson Cogeneration). At normal operation, the refinery does not produce heavy fuel oil products. Carson operates the 385 megawatt Watson Cogeneration facility that sells electricity to the power grid and steam and electricity to the refinery. The Carson Refinery produces 20% of California's gasoline and 30% of California's diesel. It has the largest crude capacity in California," the firm's web site says.