The Cape Navigator

Seaside Community Newspaper


[WATCH] California Drivers Fall Victim to Statewide Scheme: Contaminated Fuel Sold from Scrapyards

Michael Hawthorne

USA – In a shocking revelation, California drivers may have unwittingly fueled their cars with contaminated gas for years, thanks to a statewide scheme that involved selling recovered fuel from junked and abandoned cars. The unfolding story sheds light on a petroleum transportation company based in Southern California accused of illegally siphoning fuel, treating it, and selling it to multiple gas stations across the state.

The alleged scheme, which ran from 2012 to 2021, is believed to have generated hundreds of thousands of dollars, impacting communities throughout California, including disadvantaged areas like East Oakland and the Central Valley. Most affected gas stations were located in communities historically burdened by environmental injustices and pollution.

According to a press release from the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), the company’s CEO, vice president, and general manager are accused of grossly profiting from this sophisticated scheme. The criminal complaint filed against them reveals the widespread nature of the operation, implicating gas stations in Los Angeles, Sacramento, Lemong Grove, and Pawe.

The accused company allegedly collected thousands of gallons of waste fuel from scrapyards in Los Angeles and Monterey County, treating and delivering it to gas stations across the state. Some gas stations reportedly received substantial amounts, with one in Los Angeles allegedly getting as much as 5,000 gallons of waste fuel. Used auto part shops in the Bay Area are also implicated in playing a role in the distribution of this contaminated fuel.

The gravity of the situation lies in the potential damage caused by contaminated gas. Gasoline begins to degrade in 3 to 6 months, and if unknowingly used, it can lead to various car problems, including engine failure and stalling while moving. The contaminated fuel might also appear darker and emit a foul odor, causing damage to internal engine components if not addressed promptly.

Despite the apparent financial gains from such a scheme, questions arise about the feasibility and profit margins. Handling, storing, and transporting contaminated gas involve significant effort, raising doubts about whether the illegal operation was truly worth the risk.

The accused company faces multiple felony charges, including conspiracy and treatment of hazardous waste. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for May 7th. The DTSC director expressed outrage at the company’s “complete disregard for the environment and public safety” and emphasized a zero-tolerance approach to such hazardous waste violations.

As the investigation unfolds, California drivers are left wondering about the extent of potential damages and whether legal action can be taken against the perpetrators. The case serves as a stark reminder to consumers to remain vigilant about the quality of fuel they purchase, even from reputable gas stations, and underscores the importance of robust regulatory measures to protect the public from such unscrupulous practices.


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