BOSTON – Shell Oil Co. will pay $4 million to resolve allegations that it received reimbursement payments from a Massachusetts state fund for environmental-cleanup projects despite receiving payments from its insurers for the same gas station sites, announced Attorney General Martha Coakley.
According to a statement, the alleged false claims by Shell and its joint venture, Motiva Enterprises LLC, involved more than a hundred gasoline stations that both companies operated throughout the state.
The Mass. Underground Storage Tank Petroleum Product Cleanup Fund program was established to expedite the cleanup of environmentally dangerous leaks from underground storage tanks by reimbursing owners and operators for eligible expenses incurred in remediating the sites. To fund the program, the state charges tank registration and delivery fees.
Under the program’s regulations, claimants must disclose if they sought reimbursement from another source, including insurance for expenses they submit. If claimants do recover money from both insurance and the program for the same expenses, they must pay back the state.
Coakley, who described the company’s actions as “double dipping,” said the settlement with Shell requires payment of more than $1.9 million to the Underground Storage Tank Petroleum Product Cleanup Fund Program Expendable Trust and more than $2 million to the state. •