The Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office joined the Solano County District Attorney’s Office and 21 other California District Attorneys and City Attorneys in a settlement with Hassan & Sons, Inc., H&S Energy, LLC and H&S Energy Products, LLC (formerly known as Colonial Energy, LLC), collectively referred to as H&S Energy, over allegations the companies violated state laws regarding the operation and maintenance of motor vehicle fuel underground storage tanks (“USTs”). The settlement includes $1,100,000 in civil penalties, and costs payable in two installments. H&S Energy has 113 fueling stations in California, of which, five locations are in Sacramento County.
The settlement follows an investigation that started with multiple inspections by local environmental health agencies. H&S Energy stations were found to be out of compliance with many provisions of the UST regulations, including failure to have a permit to operate, failure to obtain permits for installation and repairs, failure to test leak detection equipment every 12 months, improper placement of sensors, failure of overfill protection and improper handling and disposal of hazardous wastes and materials associated with USTs.
In full cooperation with the People’s investigation, H&S Energy allocated significant capital resources to address the stations’ deficiencies in order to get them into compliance.
A Final Judgment and Permanent Injunction was entered on November 18, 2021, in Solano County Superior Court (Case No. FCS057332) by the Honorable E. Bradley Nelson. Under the settlement, H&S Energy must implement certain compliance assurance programs, including hiring an environmental compliance manager and bi-annual environmental audits and reports submitted to the People. In addition, H&S Energy must pay $900,000 in civil penalties and $200,000 in costs. Of that total amount, $550,000 is due within five days after entry of judgment, and the remaining $550,000 is due October 22, 2022.