By KRISTIN JONES
Phillips 66 and ConocoPhillips have been accused of
violating California environmental laws by failing to properly
maintain underground gas storage tanks, the state's attorney
general's office said.
In a civil lawsuit filed in Alameda County Superior Court,
the state accused the companies of tampering with leak
detection devices, and failing to test secondary containment
systems and maintain alarm systems, among other violations.
ConocoPhillips spun off its downstream business, including
retail operations, as Phillips 66 last year as part of a
three-year restructuring plan aimed at improving the company's
Daren Beaudo, a spokesman for ConocoPhillips, said Wednesday
that the California lawsuit "is [Phillips 66's] issue on which
to comment, not ours."
Phillips 66 spokeswoman Janet Grothe said the company
doesn't comment on legal matters.
The companies were also accused of improperly handling and
disposing of hazardous wastes associated with the tanks, which
are used to store fuel for retail sale at more than 560
California gas stations.
"The state's hazardous waste laws help protect our residents
from contaminated groundwater," Attorney General Kamala D.
Harris said. "This lawsuit safeguards public health by ensuring
proper maintenance of the tanks that store
fuel beneath many California communities."
Dow Jones Newswires