Benicia refiners to pay fine to settle air quality violations

November 15, 2011 10:19:16 PM PST
The Valero refinery in Benicia reached an agreement with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District to pay a $130,500 civil penalty related to air quality violations that occurred in 2008 and 2009, the air district announced today.

"Businesses in the Bay Area have a responsibility to protect public health by following air quality regulations," Jack Broadbent, air district executive director, said.

The payment settles 23 violations issued by the air district to the refinery, none of which posed a significant threat to air quality or public health, according to the air district, which said that the violations were "corrected promptly."

Only one violation -- brief offsite odor -- impacted the surrounding community. Six were administrative violations and 15 involved brief violations of emissions limits, according to the air district.

"When violations are discovered, the air district will pursue the necessary enforcement actions," Broadbent said.

When the air district issues the notices, violators must generally respond within 10 days and submit a plan outlining actions to resolve the issue, according to the air district, which has some of the most stringent refinery regulations in the country.