Repost from the East Bay Times
Benicia: Valero to pay $157,800 penalty over toxic chemicalsBy Denis Cuff, October 5, 2016, 5:53 pm
BENICIA – The Valero oil refinery has agreed to pay $157,800 in federal penalties for improper management and storage of toxic chemicals and hazardous waste, the federal Environmental Protection Agency announced Wednesday.
The violations included illegal disposal of benzene, a carcinogen, into an unlined storm water retention pond and not alerting the public about all of its toxic chemical releases, EPA officials reported.
In addition to paying the penalties, Valero will modify its piping operations by June 2017 to prevent an estimated 5,000 pounds of benzene from being released into the atmosphere over the next 10 years, officials said.
Evidence of the violations were detected during an EPA inspection of the Benicia refinery in May 2014 to assess compliance with the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act.
Additional violations included the company’s failure to determine if solid waste generated at the refinery was hazardous; the failure to maintain and operate to minimize risks of a toxic release; and failure to maintain complete and accurate records, the EPA said.