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Feds search Chevron's Alaska facilities

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January 14, 2010 07:58 PM EST | AP

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The Environmental Protection Agency has served search warrants on Chevron Corp. properties in Alaska, investigating air emission compliance.

Chuck Farmer, spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Anchorage, said Thursday his office was told earlier in the week that the EPA would be executing search warrants. He had no other information.

"If it's a criminal case, we won't know until we get it," he said. The EPA office in Seattle referred questions to Farmer's office.

A Department of Justice spokesman in Washington, D.C., Andrew Ames, told the Anchorage Daily News that searches were conducted Tuesday and Wednesday.

Mickey Driver, a Chevron spokesman in Houston, confirmed that the investigation was focused on air emission compliance. He said in an e-mail response to The Associated Press that the agency was looking at the Trading Bay Production Facility and Granite Point Tank Farm on the west side of Cook Inlet.

"We have been working cooperatively with the U.S. EPA since 2008 in responding to inquiries regarding the Trading Bay facility," he said. "We place the highest priority on protecting the environment."

Alaska environmental officials also investigated air emissions after receiving company-reported violations in 2008, Department of Environmental Conservation spokeswoman Weld Royal told the Daily News.

The EPA started an investigation. The state ended its investigation and turned over the lead role to the EPA last winter, she said.

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Information from: Anchorage Daily News, http://www.adn.com