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U.S. EPA settles with Los Angeles real estate firm for $25,000 for diesel fuel spill

Release Date: 9/1/2004
Contact Information: Francisco Arcaute, U.S. EPA, (213) 244-1815

     SAN FRANCISCO -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently reached a $25,000 settlement with Arden Realty Limited Partnerships, of Los Angeles for failing to notify the proper authorities of a diesel fuel spill that reached the Los Angeles County Storm Drain System and Centinela Creek last October.

    On Oct. 8,approximately 4,000 gallons (95 barrels) of diesel fuel were discharged from an Arden Realty Limited Partnerships-owned facility into the Los Angeles County Storm Drain System and traveled approximately four miles in the storm channel to Centinela Creek, a tributary of Ballona Creek that leads to the Pacific Ocean.  Not all of the fuel entered into the creek, and no fuel was discharged into the Pacific Ocean.

    The diesel fuel spill was discovered when the Los Angeles Public Works Department noticed a sheen in the storm channel and notified Arden Realty Limited Partnerships, the owner and operator of the facility at the time of the spill.  

    Arden Realty Limited Partnerships contacted the Los Angeles County Fire Department, who discovered that the 500 gallon above-ground storage tank was overflowing with diesel onto the ground and into several storm drains at the facility.  However, Arden Realty Limited Partnerships failed to notify the National Response Center, as required by law.  The spill was caused by a faulty tank overfill detection system.

    "It's imperative that companies notify the appropriate authorities as soon as oil starts spilling from the tank or pipeline.  Arden Realty Limited Partnerships failed to do so," said Keith Takata, director of the EPA's Superfund Division for the Pacific Southwest.  "Calling the right people right away can help prevent unnecessary environmental degradation, as well as unnecessary fines for the facility later on."

    There were no significant human health or environmental impacts due to the release of the fuel and the areas impacted by the spill have been cleaned.

    In the case of oil and chemical spills, companies should immediately contact the National Response Center at 1-800-424-8802, the sole federal point of contact for reporting oil and chemical spills.
    For more information on the EPA's Oil Spill program, visit