Shell settles case, must pay $208,000 for Martinez refinery’s air quality violations

FILE - In this Monday, April 7, 2014 file photo, a flag bearing the company logo of Royal Dutch Shell, an Anglo-Dutch oil and gas company, flies outside the head office in The Hague, Netherlands. Royal Dutch Shell will cease exploration in Arctic waters off Alaska's coast following disappointing results from an exploratory well backed by billions in investment and years of work. The announcement that came on Monday, Sept. 28, 2015 was a huge blow to Shell, which was counting on offshore drilling in Alaska to help it drive future revenue. Environmentalists, however, had tried repeatedly to block the project and welcomed the news. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong, File)

MARTINEZ (BCN) — Shell Oil has to pay a $208,000 penalty for a dozen infractions, related mostly to emissions at the company’s Martinez refinery, Bay Area Air Quality Management District officials said Tuesday.

The penalty is the result of the district reaching a settlement with the oil company for 12 notices of air quality violations incurred in 2013. Some of the violations included discharges of nitrogen oxides for more than 20 hours, a hydrogen sulfide discharge and carbon monoxide releases.

Among other violations, district officials said there were also administrative failures, such as late reporting and mislabeled components. Shell has reportedly corrected all of the violations.

Shell itself reported each incident to the district, which then conducted investigations and notified the company of its violations.

Funding from the penalties will be used for future inspections and enforcement activities, district officials said.

Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the district, said the district constantly monitors Bay Area refineries.

He added that facilities such as Shell’s refinery are subject to “some of the most stringent regulations in the nation.”

And the district reports it is proposing four new rules that will require tougher emissions limits, more monitoring and quicker equipment repairs and upgrades, as part of the district’s goal of reducing refinery emissions 20 percent by 2020.

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