AT&T Inc. will pay $25 million to end a lawsuit by California officials alleging the company failed to test properly and repair its underground storage tanks, the state attorney general said on Tuesday.
"This settlement will force AT&T to overhaul its business practices throughout the state so its underground storage tanks, and the public, are safe," Attorney General Bill Lockyer said in a statement.
"Every day they postponed inspections and repairs, they risked catastrophic leaks and spills of MTBE and other toxic chemicals into our environment and surrounding communities."
The lawsuit alleged environmental shortcomings at 531 underground storage tanks across California, some of which keep fuel for vehicles.
"This was not a case about actual environmental harm, nor has the state ever claimed that it was," AT&T said. "The main focus of this case is a dispute about whether AT&T California met a deadline for testing emergency generator tank secondary containment systems."
"While AT&T California believes it complied with the applicable law, we have agreed to settle this case in order to focus on our primary objective of providing communications services to our California customers."
The attorney general's statement said it was the second largest resolution of a storage tank lawsuit after a $45.8 million 2002 settlement with BP-Arco.
This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.