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UPI: Shell, Motiva agree to N.J. fine

TRENTON, N.J., Jan. 25 Shell Oil Co. and a subsidiary have agreed to a $1.2 million fine for gasoline at a New Jersey service station that leaked from tanks into the water.

The state Department of Environmental Protection issued a statement announcing the settlement Thursday with Shell and Motiva Enterprises LLC, co-owned by Shell and Saudi Refining Inc.
“Of the total penalty, $500,000 recoups the economic benefit that Shell/Motiva reaped by evading DEP cleanup orders, said DEP Commissioner Lisa Jackson.

Even though the station eventually came into compliance, this settlement sends a clear message to other polluters: if you delay, you will still pay, Jackson said. Shell owned the Ridgewood, N.J., service station from 1985 to 1998, until Motiva was formed and took it over.

But action by Ridgewood officials began in 1987 after it found gasoline in two nearby municipal water wells and closed them. State officials were able to make the connection to leaking underground tanks at the station.

Shell installed pump-and-treat and vapor extraction systems to deal with on-site contamination. Ridgewood installed an off-site treatment system and placed the wells back into service, according to the department release. In February 1995, Shell notified DEP of another discharge of 1,700 gallons of gasoline. Shell upgraded its on-site treatment systems.But Shell didn’t comply with state orders, the department said, which was followed by fines.

The department said the companies began then began to comply.

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