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U.S. EPA, Conoco Phillips Settle Right-To-Know Case For $150,975

Release Date: 2/3/2003
Contact Information: Wendy Chavez, 415/947-4248

     SAN FRANCISCO   As a result of a recent settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Conoco Phillips Company will pay $150, 975 for federal community right-to-know violations at its petrochemical refinery in Wilmington, Calif.

     The U.S. EPA alleged that the facility failed to file timely or accurate estimates of  releases of six toxic chemicals   perchloroethylene, ammonia, MTBE, trimethylbenzene, toluene and sulfuric acid   to the environment in 1997 and/or 1998.  In the settlement, Conoco Phillips Company admitted liability for the violations.  Conoco Phillips is the successor corporation to the Tosco Corporation, the prior owner of the Wilmington facility.

     "Companies who handle hazardous chemicals owe it to their employees and the surrounding community to report how those materials are being used, stored and disposed of," said Enrique Manzanilla, director of the EPA's Cross Media Division in San Francisco.  "This case should remind others that EPA can, and will, check on businesses to ensure they're adhering to community right-to-know laws."

     EPA staff discovered the violations during a routine inspection in March 2000.  The EPA issued the original complaint, since amended, against Tosco Corporation June 28, 2002.

     The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act requires annual reports to the EPA and the state from facilities that use or manufacture certain toxic chemicals over a specified amount.  The reports provide estimates of the amounts of each toxic chemical released to the environment, treated or recycled on-site, or transferred off-site to another facility.  

     Each year the EPA publishes a report entitled the Toxic Release Inventory Public Data Release, which summarized the prior years submissions and provides detailed trend analysis of toxic chemical releases.   A copy of the TRI Public Data Release can be accessed via the Internet by visiting or the U.S. EPA Envirofacts Warehouse Home Page at