Environmental groups were awarded a $99 million settlement from four oil companies this week to retrofit and install monitoring equipment at gas stations across California.
The groups' lawsuit charged the companies with violating California's Proposition 65, adopted in 1986 as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, for polluting state drinking water supplies.
Under the agreement, the companies have agreed to pay for leak detection, leak prevention and groundwater cleanup projects aimed at keeping gasoline and petroleum out of the water supplies.
The settlement was reached Wednesday with Shell Oil Co., ARCO station-operator Atlantic Richfield Co., ChevronTexaco Corp. and World Oil Corp.
Under terms, ARCO has agreed to install state-of-the-art leak detectors at all stations within 1,000 feet of an active municipal well.
Shell and Chevron will upgrade leak detection systems at all their stations so they are remotely monitored. Shell has also agreed to install double-walled tanks and lines at all stations within a quarter-mile of active public drinking water wells.
Southern California-based World Oil Corp., which operates two refineries and a marine terminal in addition to service stations, will upgrade leak detection systems at six of its California service stations.
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