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EPA issues Notices of Violation to Mobil Australia and BP Pacific for gasoline additive violations in American Samoa

Release Date: 11/19/2003
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, (808) 541-2711

Civil penalties proposed are between $250,000 and $298,400 for alleged violations

HONOLULU -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued notices of violation to Mobil Oil Australia Ltd. and BP Southwest Pacific Ltd. for violations of the EPA's gasoline detergent additive regulations in American Samoa. The civil penalties proposed in the notices are $298,400 for Mobil Australia and $250,000 for BP Pacific.

In October and November 2002, Mobil Australia and BP Pacific provided information to the EPA about the detergent additive violations that occurred between April 2000 and August 2002.

"The EPA's regulations prohibit the sale or transfer of gasoline that has not been properly blended with certified detergent additives," said John McCarroll, manager of the EPA Pacific Southwest Region's Pacific Islands Office. "Also, gasoline distributing companies need to provide correct and complete transfer documents and information in order to properly supply or transport the gasoline."

The EPA alleges that:

-Mobil shipped to American Samoa at least 23 barge loads of gasoline completely lacking the required detergent additives;

-Mobil did not provide the correct transfer documentation accurately advising the additive status of the gasoline in the shipments;

-BP accepted, and mixed into the American Samoa gasoline supply, the 23 barge loads of Mobil gasoline that did not contain the proper additives, and
participated in the sale of the fuel;

-BP failed to require from Mobil the proper transfer documentation concerning the detergent additive status of the gasoline.

The Clean Air Act requires gasoline to contain a detergent additive to reduce the formation of deposits in motor vehicle engines. Engine deposits have been shown to cause an increase in exhaust emissions. The EPA estimates that this requirement reduces nationwide vehicle exhaust emissions by about 600,000 tons per year.
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