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WILMINGTON : Texaco Fined $550,000 for Pollution Violations

Texaco Refining and Marketing Inc. will pay a $550,000 penalty to the South Coast Air Quality Management District in a settlement stemming from a 1992 oil refinery explosion and 28 other violations.

The district uncovered the violations of state and district rules during periodic inspections at Texaco’s Wilmington refinery between August, 1991, and January, 1994, district officials said.

The most significant violations grew out of the Oct. 8, 1992, refinery explosion and fire that shook a wide area of the South Bay, injuring 16 people and forcing evacuations.

Texaco was specifically cited for creating a public nuisance as a result of significant air emissions caused by the explosion, said Kurt Wiese, an attorney with the district. A Texaco spokeswoman, Barbara Kornylo, said the oil company decided to settle to avoid costly litigation and is not admitting any wrongdoing.

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