P.M. BRIEFING : Unocal Fined $75,000 for Emissions

From Times wire services

Unocal Corp. was ordered today to pay $70,000 for alternative fuels research after being convicted of releasing pollutants into the air from a smokestack at its Wilmington refinery. The company was also ordered to pay an additional $5,100 in fines.

The sentence was imposed by Municipal Court Commissioner Barry Kohn after Unocal attorneys pleaded no contest to three violations of South Coast Air Quality Management District rules that prohibit the release of excess particles into the atmosphere. City Atty. James Hahn said Unocal is required to pay $70,000 into the newly created clean fuels account established by the AQMD to further research aimed at developing safer and cleaner alternatives to fossil fuels.

Unocal was charged with the misdemeanor violations last May as a result of illegal emissions monitored by AQMD inspectors the previous summer at the company refinery at 1660 W. Anaheim St. in Wilmington.