BOSTON – Chevron USA Inc. and Texaco Downstream Properties Inc. will pay $1.7 million to resolve allegations they received reimbursement payments from a state fund for gas-station cleanup projects even though both sought and received payments from their insurers, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced last week. These false claims allegedly involved service stations across Massachusetts, Coakley said in a statement.
According to a news release, the Mass. Underground Storage Tank Petroleum Product Cleanup Fund program was established to expedite the cleanup of environmentally dangerous leaks from underground storage tanks, such as those commonly found at gasoline stations, by reimbursing owners and operators for eligible expenses incurred in their response. To fund the program, the commonwealth charges tank registration and delivery fees.
In 2001, Chevron and Texaco merged to create ChevronTexaco (now Chevron Corp.). The statement said that the settlement resolves the alleged failure of each company before the merger – and Chevron after the merger – to disclose to the UST Fund that they had certain insurance policies and that Chevron and Texaco each received payments from their respective insurers through policy buybacks and/or settlements of their claims.
The settlement with the attorney general’s office requires payment of $825,000 to the Underground Storage Tank Program Expendable Trust and $875,000 to the commonwealth’s general fund. •