SAN JOSE (KCBS) – AT&T has been ordered to pay a $40,490 fine for environmental damage, following a fuel leak last fall in San Jose.

The company was fined for violating California’s water pollution and hazardous waste laws after a mechanical failure at a backup generator at an AT&T downtown hi-rise pumped 1,300 gallons of diesel fuel into the Guadalupe River.

KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:

Many San Jose residents feel the fine won’t go far enough to fight the spilled fuel’s long-term effects.

San Jose resident Peg Rulien, who walks along the Guadalupe River regularly, said the penalty isn’t enough.

“Obviously they didn’t do the proper maintenance to make sure it didn’t happen and $40,000 in today’s world is nothing.”

AT&T Spokesman John Britton said his company’s response to the spill was immediate.

“AT&T reacted quickly. We notified proper authorities. We took steps to contain the release, and we cooperated with the cleanup,” he said.

“It was the right thing to do and that’s what we did.”

AT&T already has paid more than $300,000 in clean-up costs to private environmental companies.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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