WASHINGTON—Two subsidiaries of Exxon Mobil Corporation – Mobil Oil Guam Inc. and Mobil Oil Mariana Islands Inc. – have agreed to pay $2.4 million for allegedly violating the federal Clean Air Act by failing to control emissions from their facilities, the Justice Department and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today.
Together these two companies allegedly have illegally discharged hundreds of tons of volatile organic compounds into the air each year from their bulk gasoline terminals on Cabras Island in Guam and in the Lower Base area of Saipan.
According to a complaint filed simultaneously with the settlement, Mobil Oil Guam and Mobil Oil Mariana Islands allegedly failed to install vapor pollution controls on thirteen storage tanks and all of their loading racks at gasoline storage facilities on the islands. Both also allegedly failed to comply with pollution limits, install pollution monitors, and submit required reports.
"This agreement will have a meaningful impact for the citizens who live and work around these facilities. By agreeing to install pollution controls on gasoline storage tanks and loading racks, Mobil Oil Guam and Mobil Oil Mariana Islands will eliminate significant levels of hazardous air pollutants," said Ignacia S. Moreno, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division.
"This enforcement action should serve as a warning to other large companies that they need to ensure that each part of their operations complies with the law – even facilities that are more than 7,000 miles from their headquarters," said Jared Blumenfeld, the EPA's regional administrator for the Pacific Southwest region. "In this case, Exxon Mobil stepped forward to address the long-standing pollution problems of its Guam and Saipan subsidiaries."
As part of the settlement, both subsidiaries have agreed to install air pollution controls and monitors, submit required reports, and obtain appropriate permits. The two subsidiaries estimate that they will spend more than $15 million to bring the two bulk gasoline terminals into compliance with the Clean Air Act, reducing their yearly discharge of volatile organic compounds by close to 400 tons.
Bulk gasoline terminals are large storage tank facilities where gasoline is loaded into tank trucks for distribution to gasoline service stations. Vapors containing volatile organic compounds and hazardous air pollutants, including the known human carcinogen benzene, can leak from storage tanks, pipes and tank trucks as they are loaded.
Today’s settlement was lodged in the U.S. District Court for Guam and is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval. A copy of the consent decree is available on the Justice Department Web site at http://www.justice.gov/enrd/Consent_Decrees.html.