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EPA settles US biofuel violations with 30 companies

04.20.2012  | 

Thirty companies have agreed to pay what the EPA described as "modest" civil penalties for using fraudulent credits to meet a federal biofuel mandate. The settlement resolves violations of the Renewable Fuels Standard for companies such as ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips.

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By RYAN TRACY

WASHINGTON -- Thirty companies have agreed to pay what the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) described as "modest" civil penalties for using fraudulent credits to meet a federal biofuel mandate.

The companies aren't accused of creating the fraudulent credits, which were traded under a system overseen by EPA. But they're on the hook because the agency's rules hold the buyer accountable.

The EPA is taking separate action against two companies accused of selling credits that didn't represent actual gallons of biofuel.

The settlement resolves violations of the Renewable Fuels Standard for companies such as ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips, but it may not mean the end of the firms' financial burden for the invalid credits.

Companies who bought the fraudulent credits still must replace them with valid ones, meaning they may have to buy additional credits to make up the difference.

In all, as much as $49 million fraudulent credits are alleged to have been sold, and the EPA says it is investigating "credible leads" of further fraud that could reveal even more invalid credits.

ExxonMobil will pay $165,407 under the settlement, according to documents posted on EPA's website. ConocoPhillips will pay $250,000.

At least three other companies, including refiner Tesoro, received notices of violation but haven't settled with EPA.

Representatives of ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, and Tesoro did not immediately respond to requests for comment.


Dow Jones Newswires



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Ivan
05.11.2012

When notified / acsuecd of a Fraud Accusation by the EPA Emissions Program, you are usually given the reason in the notification. The reason(s) should have specific dates and acts that do not comply with their regulations. They probably won't give you a trial per se but may allow you to appeal their decision if you have proof contrary to their findings. The appeal process may also have a specific time frame. Your best course of action may be to inquire as to the process for your re-certification or reapplying for a license. Furthermore, a settlement (I guess you mean monitary) would only happen if you brought suit against them (with significant evidence to support your claim) and won. Gather what evidence you have, the infomation the EPA Emission Program sent you and see if you can get a free consultation with a law firm. They will be able to tell you if they would take your case on a contingency basis. Good luck!

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