The following is a press release issued by the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office:
On January 5, 2023, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Charles Smiley entered a $500,000.00 stipulated judgment against Mahmoud Alam, and Faizan Corporation, a California corporation of which Alam is the chief executive officer, in Case No. 22CV023017. This judgment settles allegations that Alam and Faizan Corporation failed to follow state laws governing the operation of retail gas stations at locations in Sonoma, Alameda, Contra Costa, Lake, Marin, Mendocino, and Yolo Counties. In Sonoma County, this involved the Chevron gas station located on Mendocino Avenue in Santa Rosa.
Owners and operators of underground storage tanks (USTs) at retail gas stations in California are subject to fair yet stringent environmental rules and requirements, designed to prevent underground petroleum releases to surface and ground waters. Prosecutors alleged that Alam and Faizan Corporation failed to adequately install, monitor, operate, and calibrate important equipment on-site designed to detect leaks, and failed to comply with laws regulating hazardous wastes and hazardous materials at certain stations. Additionally, prosecutors alleged defendants failed to label fuel dispensers with the correct octane rating and price per gallon, and falsely advertised the sale of lower-octane gasoline as higher-octane at certain stations.
District Attorney Carla Rodriguez stated: “Our Environmental and Consumer Law Division is dedicated to working with our regulatory agencies when violations are discovered that endanger our precious environmental resources within Sonoma County.”
As part of the judgment, Alam and Faizan Corporation are required to pay $327,000.00 in civil penalties and $123,000.00 in investigative and enforcement costs. The settlement also includes a permanent statewide injunction, requiring Alam and Faizan Corporation to retain an experienced, independent environmental consultant to assist with future compliance at all stations.
The District Attorney’s Office would like to thank everyone within the Santa Rosa Fire Department, Contra Costa Health Services Hazardous Materials Program; Lake County Division of Environmental Health; Marin County CUPA; Mendocino County Environmental Health Division; San Leandro Environmental Services; Yolo County Environmental Health Division; and Yolo County Weights and Measures for their investigative efforts and assistance with this case. This case was handled by Deputy District Attorney Caroline Fowler in our Environmental and Consumer Law Division.