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Released by: District Attorney
For Immediate Release

Bay Area Petroleum Companies Ordered to Pay Three Million Dollars in Civil Penalties for Environmental Violations

Santa Rosa, CA  –  March 15, 2017  –  District Attorney Jill Ravitch announced today that the Contra Costa County Superior Court has ordered Golden Gate Petroleum Co., Bay Area/Diablo Petroleum Company and Westgate Petroleum Company, Inc. to pay three million dollars in civil penalties related to the operation of underground storage tanks and management of hazardous materials and wastes. The order was issued on March 13, 2017, following a contested hearing which took place on February 9, 2017. The action was brought in the name of the People of the State of California by the California Attorney General and the District Attorneys of Sonoma, Contra Costa, Monterey, Alameda, Santa Clara, Humboldt, Lake, and Mendocino counties. The defendant companies own and operate gas stations throughout the Bay Area, including in Cloverdale in Sonoma County.

District Attorney Jill Ravitch stated that “Compliance with the Hazardous Materials laws and underground storage tank requirements is critical to ensuring that we protect the citizens of Sonoma County and our beautiful county.”

The People had previously brought a lawsuit and obtained a judgment against the Defendants in 2011 for an injunction and six million dollars in civil penalties, of which three million dollars in civil penalties were suspended conditioned on the Defendants strict compliance with the injunction. However, the Defendants committed violations of the injunction at ten different locations, including the Golden Gate Petroleum facilities located in Cloverdale. As a result, the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office joined with the other offices in bringing this action to have the previously suspended three million dollars in penalties assessed against the companies. 

The District Attorney’s Office brings actions such as these to protect public health and safety and to ensure that businesses comply with their legal responsibilities to safeguard the environment. Deputy District Attorney Caroline Fowler handled this matter on behalf of Sonoma County.


Contact Information

Joe Langenbahn
Media Coordinator
Office of the District Attorney
County of Sonoma
Contact us by Phone
600 Administration Drive
Room 212 J
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
38.466524, -122.726273