Robert Armstrong 16341 Chino-Corona Rd., Chino, CA 91710-2722 FAX (909) 597-1295; Phone (909) 327-1511 August 5, 2006 David Sexton, President Sent via Fax (713) 241-7171 Shell Oil Products US & Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 1 Shell Plaza, 910 Louisiana St. Houston, TX 77002 RE: Notice of Impending Publication Dear David Sexton: I believe you take the Texaco problem seriously, serious enough to try and hide it by doing a failed GPR test. To end any confusion over that test, I created a website SeeitReal.com to expose Shell’s attempt to cover up what I have been trying to get Shell to fix for a year now. The other issue is the reason behind Shell selling all its service stations. I believe it is expressed quite clearly by Shell employees saying, “When Shell gets fined it pays millions and when retailers get fined they pay thousands” (visit SeeitReal.com for the compete explanation). Above is a card to direct Shell retailers to the website (for “select locations” only as it’s free to fax or email the web address to anyone else). It would be best for everyone if you and I cooperate. In that interest, I give Shell 10 days to get back to me, no later than August 16th with Shell’s action plan to address this matter. After that, I will broadly publicize SeeitReal.com. No one else will be looking at this site for the 10 day period (other than the Riverside District Attorney and my own counsel), so if Shell has any objection speak now or forever hold your peace. The issue is simple: Is the equipment there or not? A definitive test proves it either way. Here’s the simple reason you and I are fighting over Satish Chopra’s station(s) in Corona: You are a President for the 3rd largest corporation in the history of the human race. If you thought the equipment wasn’t there, the test would not have failed. Accordingly, the mere fact that the test “failed” is evidence that the test was deceptive. It’s not too much to expect the public and any District Attorney to understand that fact. This is the “tipping point” that caused you to meet with me. Please do not continue to misread Shell’s ability to escape this issue. Absent a legitimate plan from Shell to meet your environmental responsibilities in Corona (the failed GPR test shows Shell’s real intention and SeeitReal.com shows mine), this matter will get addressed and heard by the broadest possible means. David Sexton, you are simply on the wrong side of the truth in this issue. I believe the Shell board, the public and the District attorney will be able to see that fact given SeeitReal.com. There is no reason in the world Shell cannot do a definitive test in Corona other than to hide an environmental crime once discovered will cause Shell to cleanup some number of 13,000 former Texaco stations. It’s time to do a definitive test and prove what you say or prove what I say. If you weren’t hiding “it,” it would have been done long ago. Regards, Robert Armstrong cc: Riverside District Attorney RA/pc/bcc TAG Robert Armstrong, The Armstrong Group 16341 Chino-Corona Road, Chino, CA 91710 PH (909) 597-0919; Cell (909) 327-1511; FX (909) 597-1295 Email: email@example.com Fax To: Royal Dutch Shell – Jeroen van der Veer From: Robert Armstrong Fax: 011-31-70-377-3953 Pages: 13 Phone: Date: May 30, 2006 Re: John Hofmeister & David Sexton CC: Urgent For Review Please Comment Please Reply Please Recycle The attached is notice of a problem you should be aware of that could compare Shell Oil to Enron in the world press and the court of public opinion in the United States. You have two Shell executives that, so far, are going down the same road as Kenneth Lay and Jeff Shilling of Enron, even though it is a much lesser scale. However, it is still a sensitive issue at a critical time for the public relations of a major oil company. The U.S. press is hungry for any bad act they can write about to capture the public's anger over high gasoline prices. I would hope we could cooperate and not have to go that route, but you may have a denial problem that is interfering with the sense of reason. If not, we fight it out in the court of public opinion as to who is right and who is wrong and what is the truth and what is not the truth. I believe I know what that truth is. You have until June 14th to discover that truth for yourself. Please consider the choice carefully. Once it is out in the open it can not be retracted. Robert Armstrong 16341 Chino-Corona Rd., Chino, CA 91710-2722 FAX (909) 597-1295; Phone (909) 327-1511 May 29, 2006 Sent Via Fax & email: 011-31-70-377-3953 firstname.lastname@example.org Jeroen van der Veer, Chief Executive Royal Dutch Shell plc Carel van Bylandtlaan 30 2596 HR, The Hague The Netherlands Dear Jeroen van der Veer: The only reason two Presidents of Shell Oil are refusing to do a simple test in the face of the attached is that they wish to save Royal Dutch Shell the money it would take to remediate some unknown percentage of the 13,000 Texaco stations Shell Oil recently purchased. In that this is likely to damage the “crown jewel” in your portfolio, you should make the decision whether your Shell executives should go down the same road Ken Lay and Jeff Shilling went with Enron. The problem exists, otherwise your Presidents would simply take me up on my offer to do the test for free and be done with it. This is clearly an issue of “willful blindness” on the part of Shell Oil Company. Your direct involvement is solicited accordingly and is required per the attached. Denial is a powerful motivator, but it can lead to making bad decisions that everyone regrets, after the fact. All the hard decisions are “damned if you do” and “damned if you don’t,” but they still require making the right choice and doing the right thing. I argue the costs to address the issue head on are far less than the beating you stand to take in the press, the court of public opinion and the legal system criminally trying to hide it. Someone needs to make the executive decision of whether it is really worth it to be on the wrong side of the truth. That person is ultimately you, and because I have set a deadline of June 14th you will need to make that consideration soon. This letter perfects my notice to Shell Oil Company. Please read it as such accordingly. If I can be of any assistance in anyway, please do not hesitate to contact me. Regards, Robert Armstrong Attachments: May 27th “Substantial Chance letter”; May 23rd “Violation of the Public’s Trust” letter; May 5th “In Search of the Truth” letter RA/pc Robert Armstrong 16341 Chino-Corona Rd., Chino, CA 91710-2722 FAX (909) 597-1295; Phone (909) 327-1511 May 27, 2006 John Hofmeister, Country Chair & President Sent via Fax & Email: (713) 241.4044 Shell Oil Company email@example.com David Sexton, President Sent via Fax & Email: (713) 241.9800 Shell Oil Products US firstname.lastname@example.org 1 Shell Plaza, 910 Louisiana St. Houston, TX 77002 RE: “Substantial Chance” Dear Mr. Sexton and Mr. Hofmeister: I gave you the opportunity to do the GPR test for free because it is your “substantial chance” to prove Shell is not pursing “deliberate avoidance,” and “contrived ignorance” as a means to evade the consequences of the truth. What you are failing to realize is that actual knowledge and deliberate avoidance of knowledge are the same thing.1 Let me explain. In cases of deliberate ignorance, knowledge of a fact may be inferred where the defendant has notice of the high probability of the existence of the fact and has failed to establish an honest, contrary disbelief. The inference cannot be overcome by the defendant's "deliberate avoidance of knowledge," United States v. Manrique Aribizo, 833 F.2d 244, 249 (10th Cir. 1987), his or her "willful blindness," United States v. Kaplan, 832 F.2d 676, 682 (1st Cir. 1987), or his or her "conscious disregard," United States v. McAllister, 747 F.2d 1273, 1275 (9th Cir. 1984), of the existence of the required circumstance or result. As such, it covers any instance where "any reasonable person would have realized" the existence of the circumstances or result and the defendant has "consciously chose[n] not to ask about what he had 'reason to believe' he would discover," United States v. Picciandra, 788 F.2d 39, 46 (1st Cir. 1986).2 Your not doing the GPR test is called the “ostrich defense,” a “deliberate avoidance of knowledge,” and it will not shield you from liability. It didn’t work for Kenneth Lay and Jeff Shilling. Quite the opposite, it sets you up for attacks the press is all too familiar with right now, given the recent verdict on the Enron trial. Plus there is the legal liability you are willfully stepping into. The world is waking up and it’s not going to let anyone get away with what they might of in the past. Lay and Shilling found that out the hard way. “Contrived ignorance” is what you prove by not doing the noninvasive GRP test I offered to even pay for. Why take that path? If you do, the press would have a field day comparing you to Enron. Here’s why. The Problem It is clear that Shell wants to avoid liability over the former Texaco stations with maliciously abandoned garage sumps, hydraulic lifts and toxic wastes. Greg Schulty of the USEPA in San Diego was the first to say it was in fact “toxic wastes” and “an environmental crime” to cover them over with concrete. Those are his words. Not mine. They are statements I took as fact from a USEPA agent in charge of investigating international toxic waste dumping crimes at the Mexican border. His view will prevail, and Shell’s legal liability does not depend on any agency’s action. It’s defined quite well in law. Perfected Notice “Notice” is knowledge of facts which would naturally lead an honest and prudent person to make inquiry, and does not necessarily mean knowledge of all the facts.3 As I told you in our phone meeting, when Satish Chopra told me what he did it was with the intent to defraud. In that I was not going to participate in the fraud, I had a duty to disclose it. All my efforts to date have been an attempt to make proper disclosure and to perfect my notice to Shell Oil and the appropriate agencies. Given the body of correspondence, your combined intelligence and our phone meeting, no reasonable person could conclude that “notice” is not now “perfected.” Accordingly, not doing a simple inexpensive test that you don’t even have to pay for if the equipment isn’t there puts you in harms way legally, ethically and possibly criminally. “When someone knows enough to put him on inquiry, he knows much. If a person with a lurking suspicion goes on as before and avoids further knowledge, this may support an inference that he has deduced the truth and is simply trying to avoid giving the appearance (and incurring the consequences) of knowledge." Ramsey, 785 F.2d at 189.”4 This is the reason I did not take the “conceal the fraud road” (the road you will be taking if you don’t’ do the GPR test) when I found out what crime Satish Chopra committed at his former Texaco station. If you don’t do the simple GPR test you open yourself to the charge that Shell is “trying to avoid incurring the consequences” of the knowledge of Satish Chopra’s crime. Suspicion alone is sufficient to mandate that you act. You have more than that. That the sumps and lifts are not leaking now does not absolve Chopra or Shell Oil of the responsibility of removing equipment maliciously and fraudulently covered over in concrete that will leak in the future. There is no law of science that saves you. “The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics” says they absolutely will leak. Not taking them out before they leak, 957 feet from a clean aquifer, is an egregious violation of the public trust and a violation of an objective scientific fact. Talk around that all you want. You can’t change it. Accordingly, I and the public don’t care what Shell or the EPA have done in the past ten years regarding gasoline abatement. It is what Shell is going to do now, under the concrete slab, that counts. Anything less than pursuing the truth in this matter is an act of “willful blindness.” Willful Blindness “Willful blindness” is a term used in law to describe a situation in which an individual seeks to avoid civil or criminal liability for a wrongful act by intentionally putting himself in a position where he will be unaware of facts which would render him liable.5 Shell does not want to be liable for cleaning up some number of the 13,000 Texaco stations they purchased. If you have to “look” in Corona, Shell will have full knowledge of the problem and have to address the issue of like former Texaco stations nationally. Like Enron, Shell Oil has been “gaming this issue” by using “willful blindness” in an attempt to get away with it. If it is only one voice, even if true, Shell may feel it can claim ignorance if caught and even more likely, if the government agencies don’t wake up, escape entirely. Actually that isn’t true. The legal landscape of the last decade is not going to allow it. And Corona is important because it is a known location that proves Texaco’s and Texaco’s retailer’s environmental crimes. The cause of Shell’s “willful blindness” is this – “looking” under that slab in Corona is pivotal to any attempt to hide those environmental crimes nationally. In particular, a jury finding of “willful blindness” can satisfy the knowledge element required for a conspiracy conviction as well as the intent element needed to establish fraud.6 I suggest Shell not go down that road. A jury getting the sum of our correspondence constituting notice to you, especially this last letter, with Shell having refused to do the simple test would be devastating to Shell’s reputation. How could you possibly say you took every “substantial chance” to discern the truth if you didn’t take that one? How would Shell say it wasn’t its responsibility to find the truth after getting 2 this letter? If this goes far enough, it is likely there could be criminal sanctions and findings of fraud. Shell proves all the unrefuted allegations in all my letters by not doing the simple GPR test. [Lay and Shilling were brought down by a scared and shaky V.P. that only wrote one memo.] The Ostrich Defense “A common feature in white-collar crime prosecutions, the ostrich instruction allows a jury to find defendants guilty if they had sufficient notice of problems but deliberately refused to obtain information that could have indicated criminal conduct.”7 This is what convicted Lay and Shilling and could convict you if you make the same mistake. I offered to pay for the simple GPR test in order to absolutely remove any excuse for not finding the truth. You do the test and the equipment is not there, you walk away with no liability. If you avoid this test it is tantamount to an admission of guilt. The following explains why that is true. Substantial Chance Courts often say that knowledge may be proved by demonstrating that the defendant was conscious of a substantial chance that some fact obtained, but averted his eyes for fear of learning more. See United States v. Ramsey, 785 F.2d 184 (7th Cir. 1986); United States v. Giovannetti, 919 F.2d 1223 (7th Cir. 1990), rehearing denied, 928 F.2d 225 (1991). “An ostrich instruction informs the jury that actual knowledge and deliberate avoidance of knowledge are the same thing.”8 The GPR test is the “substantial chance” for Shell to discern the truth. The key here is that “actual knowledge and deliberate avoidance of knowledge are the same thing.”9 Not doing the test would prove Shell’s collusion in Satish Chopra’s crime. It could shred Shell Oil Company’s credibility and reputation. It would be a direct fraud against the insurance company you require of Chopra. Every one of your real estate transactions could be challenged.10 Most importantly, not doing the GPR test in Corona could prove a fraud against the public by not cleaning up other like stations throughout California and the United States. Please don’t blame me for telling you this, but that is what would open Shell up to the conspiracy, fraud and RICO charges. Suspicion Broeske's testimony was sufficient to warrant the ostrich instruction, which informed the jury that they could infer knowledge from a combination of suspicion and indifference to the truth. The government need not choose between presenting an actual knowledge case versus a conscious avoidance case, but may present both theories if warranted by the evidence. United States v. Wilson, 134 F.3d 855, 868 (7th Cir. 1998). Moreover, "[a]n ostrich instruction is appropriate if the defendant 'claims a lack of guilty knowledge and there are facts and evidence that support an inference of deliberate ignorance.'" United States v. Graffia, 120 F.3d 706, 713 (7th Cir. 1997), citing United States v. Neville, 82 F.3d 750, 760 (7th Cir. 1996). The evidence in this case supports an inference of deliberate ignorance.11 Shell has a legal obligation to discern the truth given even mere suspicion. However, you have much more. You have my personal inside knowledge having worked for Texaco, Inc. and Satish Chopra who fired me over this very issue. As an insider with intimate knowledge from both the corporation you purchased and the location and perpetrator in question, who fired me for being a potential whistleblower, you have no defense for not having “suspicion.” “Suspicion” combined with “indifference to the truth” in light of the fact I offered to do this test for free - I respectfully point out to you is a serious legal liability and public credibility problem - if you do not do the GPR test. 3 Indifference to the Truth David Sexton, in the presence of his attorney Kathleen Gillmore and witnessed by William Spurgeon Shell’s Western Regional Manager, asked me on April 19, 2006 “if I believed Satish Chopra maliciously and criminally left those items in place.” I answered “yes” – Shell Oil’s failure to do a simple inexpensive definitive test in the face of those suspicious circumstances, and in fact Shell’s affirmative disregard for the information specifically sought and obtained by Shell that was important enough for the three of them to call me, indicates Shell Oil’s “indifference to the truth.” Not doing the simple noninvasive GPR test, you can possibly do for free, documents that “indifference to the truth.” Decision Point Shell is now at a decision point. Do the test or not do the test and try to escape liability. Actually, with Shell making over $30 billion this year with 200,000 employees and 6 million customers a day in the U.S. alone and me just “a good ole county boy” in Chino - Shell is at a serious disadvantage. You are on the wrong side of the truth. With this GPR test offer, Shell is at its last chance to decide which side of the issue its wants to be on – “indifferent to the truth” and criminally liable therefore or aiding in the discovery of the truth, as its social mandate as one of the largest corporations in the world dictates it should. If social responsibility isn’t enough, you have a serious legal liability per the citations herein. My father was proud to work for Shell as a dealer. He was a “Shell Man.” You wanted him to buy TBA, he bought TBA. My mother worked as a nurse full time nights to make ends meet. She says my father often borrowed money from her to buy “tires, batteries and accessories.” He priced the way you asked him to price. He kept the uniforms clean. We all did “circle service.” He did “price surveys” every day. Both of you know what I am talking about. My father died some time ago. I wish to honor his memory. I offer to co-operate in that vein, but if Shell is to honor the people that made and make Shell great, Shell should suck it up and do the right thing. Do the GPR test. Find the truth. Don’t do the test. Don’t clean up Corona. Reward Satish Chopra for his crime against the environment. Sell him the land, equipment, building and UST system. Ignore cleaning up the rest of the country. After the Enron convictions and the laws passed in the last ten years (see End Notes), I respectfully believe you have no chance of making that work. Solution It is time to honor your reputation and the men and women who worked hard for you, like my father, by doing the test in Corona. Destroying yours and Shell’s reputation was not the reasons you were chosen as the Presidents of the respective pieces of the corporation you run. I can imagine how hard you worked to get where you are. Why throw that away over a few Texaco stations you had no involvement in until recently? However, not doing this test shows your true colors to everyone, at Shell, in the court of public opinion, to the State of California, the citizens of the U.S., your six million customers a day, in law (as cited herein), to me, to your family – and to you. You have no good reason not to do the test. You are legally obligated to do it in pursuit of the truth and the greater social good. You have a clearly stated legal liability to do take “the substantial chance” to discover the truth. It is a shame I have to call you on that fact. It would be a greater shame to follow the road that Kenneth Lay and Jeff Shilling of Enron took by putting their heads in the sand. You might me tempted to do that, but that just isn’t going to work. You asked me “why [you] should hire me as a consultant.” I told you “I could help you do what you didn’t want to do and protect Shell’s interest and reputation accordingly.” That fact should be very clear by now. In the interest of helping you “do the right thing” and, most importantly, “to protect your respective careers and Shell’s good reputation,” I respectfully suggest that you do the GPR test. The risk to benefit of avoidance, given the above and the recent Enron verdict, doesn’t pan out. 4 Shell has a golden reputation. I suggest you make the necessary investment to keep it that way. It is a cheap price to pay in order to honor and protect the history of Shell. Public’s Right to Know As inaction is no longer an option and the public interest is at stake in that we are only months from Shell having to sell the station to Satish Chopra under PMPA, if I don’t hear from you by June 14th, this goes to the press and begins your trial in “the court of public opinion.” If I cannot appeal to your legal, corporate and civic duty and induce you to act responsibly, perhaps the public will. Regards, Robert Armstrong bcc/RA/pc 1 United States of America v. Ladish Malting Co., No. 97-2417, Appeal from the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin. No. 96-0042-M-X-01--John C. Shabaz, Chief Judge. Argued November 3, 1997--Decided Jan. 30, 1998 2 Taken from TITLE V - FOREIGN CORRUPT PRACTICES AMENDMENTS 3 Black’s Law Dictionary, Abridged Fifth Edition. 4 United States of America v. Ladish Malting Co., No. 97-2417, Appeal from the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin. No. 96-0042-M-X-01--John C. Shabaz, Chief Judge. Argued November 3, 1997--Decided Jan. 30, 1998 5 Luban, Contrived Ignorance, (1999) Vol. 87 Georgetown Law Journal, 957. 6 Ibid. 7 Enron Pair Guilty of Conspiracy, David Nason, New York correspondent, May 27, 2006 8 United States of America v. Ladish Malting Co., No. 97-2417, Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin. No. 96-0042-M-X-01--John C. Shabaz, Chief Judge. Argued Nov. 3, 1997--Decided Jan. 30, 1998 9 Ibid. 10 You should realize I noticed you about the GPR test as early as September 2005 in my first letter to Shell Oil Company. 11 USA v TOMEICA BROESKE, Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. No. 97 CR 206--J.P. Stadtmueller, Chief Judge. Argued October 2, 1998--Decided May 19, 1999 5 Robert Armstrong 16341 Chino-Corona Rd., Chino, CA 91710-2722 FAX (909) 597-1295, Phone (909) 327-1511 May 23, 2006 Sent via Fax: 713-241-4044 John Hofmeister, Country Chair & President Shell Oil Company 1 Shell Plaza, 910 Louisiana St. Houston, TX 77002 RE: Violation of the Public’s Trust Dear Mr. Hofmeister: I saw you on the Today Show today with Katie Couric. You say “Shell Oil cares about its 6 million customers a day at its stations,” yet with $30 plus billion in profits, Shell Oil is refusing to do a simple definitive $1,000 test in order to NOT clean up a source of pollution only 950 feet from a clean aquifer in the city of Corona, California that the retailer maliciously and criminally covered over with concrete. Shell Oil Company is colluding with that retailer’s criminal acts by refusing to do a simple inexpensive test. How would those “6 million customers a day” feel about Shell’s “bad faith” efforts to conceal environmental crimes in not only California, but the rest of the United States? You bought 13,000 Texaco stations. Some number of those have the same problem as the Corona station(s). Yet, Shell Oil Company is colluding with Satish Chopra in Corona to prevent the discovery of his environmental crime in order for Shell Oil to not have to address the fact that other Texaco service stations are likely affected and need environmental remediation before Shell sells them. Under PMPA, Shell will have to sell the Corona location to Satish Chopra in a matter of months. If the sale is completed without Shell doing the simple $1,000 test, you and every board member can be charged with real estate fraud and a criminal conspiracy under RICO. Why? By refusing to do a simple inexpensive test, after a long and perfected notice of the problem, Shell Oil Company could be charged with actively trying to cover up the bad acts of Texaco and its retailers in a willful attempt to hide environmental problems that “pose a threat of indefinite duration to a multitude of victims that follows a pattern of criminal activity.” Thus, you and every board member could be actionable under RICO. Public’s Right to Know More importantly, you are not going to win this in the court of public opinion. So when is Shell Oil Company going to wake up and do this test? Why go to the trouble of a “fifty state public relations campaign” when this issue will hit the press soon and destroy that effort? What are your “6 million customers a day” going to think when with record profits Shell Oil Company can’t afford to do a simple $1,000 test to quickly discern the truth? Especially, when I have offered to pay for the test myself? How hypocritical is your “care and concern for the public” in light of that fact? The only reason this has not hit the press yet, is because I believe a “Win/Win” by co-operation is better than the “Lose/Lose” of fighting. I made that proposal to David Sexton. So far, he only sees the benefit of avoidance. In the mean time, the “bad faith acts” of Shell continue to grow and are becoming glaringly apparent. I give the public more credit than Shell does. The public can clearly see what side of the truth Shell Oil is on – especially given how simple and inexpensive the test is and how hard Shell is trying to avoid it. Does the Right Hand Know What the Left One is Up To? If you do not know what your President of Shell Oil Products US is up to, I suggest you get the complete file and handle this matter yourself, before it blows up in an election year during the worst public relations period of Shell’s history (as it should if you and Shell’s board members continue to think you can cover up environmental crimes to the public’s detriment). Not doing this test and cleaning up Corona is a breach of your ethical responsibilities as a world leader for one of the planet’s foremost oil companies. It is also a malicious violation of the public’s trust. Satish Chopra maliciously and criminally hid toxic wastes under the concrete slab of his service station. He should be held responsible for that act and be made to clean it up without the protection, collusion and avoidance of Shell Oil Company. It is certainly not for Shell Oil Company to give Mr. Chopra a “free pass” for his bad acts. It is not for Shell to “aid and abet” in that environmental crime. It is not for Shell to criminally evade responsibility for any other like Texaco station in the United States. This issue is not going away until you effectively address it. You need to do so now before you force my hand in making it public. 1 You put me in a double bind. I am damned if I do and damned if I don’t. If I don’t give it the public airing it deserves, Shell doesn’t think it has to do anything. When this becomes public and hits the press and the internet blogs, we collectively lose the control necessary to address the issue efficiently without undue outside influence and the unnecessary hit to your “6 million a day” customer base. I worked in my father’s two Shell stations. I worked for Texaco. I owned a station of my own. I am on your side, but only if Shell is proactive to finding a co-operative solution. I am not on the side of trying to conceal prior bad acts and covering up crimes against the environment and the public interest. When are you going to wake up and “do the right thing” before “the right thing does you?” How much time do you think I can give you to handle this issue before Shell sells off its stations? – committing mass real estate fraud by failing to make disclosures of the problem in light of Shell requiring purchaser indemnification clauses and insurance guarantees “for all problems not discovered via testing prior to the date of closing.” This is with Shell willfully, with perfect foreknowledge, refusing to adequately test those locations prior to that liability cut-off date.2 John Hofmeister, you have a brewing legal and public relations nightmare here that avoidance is never going to fix. It will only make it worse. So, I Ask You How much deeper do you want to dig this hole of legal liability and malicious breach of the public trust? Regards, Robert Armstrong Attachment: May 5th David Sexton “In Search of the Truth” Letter bcc/RA/pc 1 The timing under PMPA to sell the station to Chopra is also forcing my hand in making a public disclosure. 2 Maliciously concealed garage sumps and hydraulic lifts with fluid are “hidden environmental time bombs.” Robert Armstrong 16341 Chino-Corona Rd., Chino, CA 91710-2722 FAX (909) 597-1295; Phone (909) 327-1511 May 5, 2006 David Sexton, President Sent via Fax & Email: email@example.com Shell Oil Products US 1 Shell Plaza, 910 Louisiana St. Houston, TX 77002 RE: In Search of the Truth Dear Mr. Sexton: Do you in truth sincerely believe that by doing nothing and not testing Corona that you will be able to control your own destiny? Earlier I produced a documentary film.1 I am now working on producing another one concerning the oil industry. Shell would be pivotal to the film. I mention this as you left it at “we have elected not to retain The Armstrong Group as a consultant at this time.” By the phrasing “at this time” I am encouraged that Shell senses a benefit to co-operating. However, please be advised that if I enter into an agreement with a production company to produce the film I am pitching, I would no longer be available under the terms I proposed to you. “The Pitch” has everything including many elements I haven’t told Shell about (in the event we were not able to co- operate). The hook for pitching the film pitch is that everyone will be effected by record gasoline prices at a historic high a year from now (given a one year production schedule) that would guarantee wide theatrical release and monster public interest as everyone is effected by record gasoline prices. If you wish to give some further consideration to our co-operation, please do so soon. I am interested in pursuing the matter in any way that I can assist in a positive outcome. I believe you did a cost-benefit analysis similar to the gas tank exploding on the Ford Pinto and Shell figures its “monetary losses” to be lower by not fixing the problem (at the worst, only fixing what Shell has to, if compelled to). Those calculations are always “flawed” because it is impossible to factor the “unknowns.” “Bad faith” in the legal sense leads to large punitive damages, but “bad faith” in the court of public opinion leads to a huge loss of profits at the pump (effecting the careers of those that didn’t anticipate the risk). Losses to hard won “brand image” are expensive and virtually impossible to calculate. Accordingly, “cost-benefit analysis” misses all the risk that anyone is not obligated to bring to your attention, including myself. Cost-benefit analysis also fails to catch the risk that is always there but impossible to calculate (“non-dollar denominated”). It most certainly misses risk associated with imaginative un-anticipatable solutions – like documentary films that catch a corporation’s wrongful acts in real time over real issues that affect everyone. In a nutshell I believe you are grossly miscalculating the risks you face by colluding with Satish Chopra’s bad acts by Shell’s continued inaction. You can’t win being on the wrong side of the truth. I don’t care how big Shell is. You, David Sexton, are discounting what Satish Chopra told me he did for all the wrong reasons. It’s a bad start for a new Shell president. I am informed and believe it was your idea to sell the Shell stations in mass and protecting Satish Chopra as a means to not have to clean up the rest of the country is a bad way to protect that mass sell off strategy. In any event, obfuscating the truth is not going to help you: “Existing environmental data” and “documented work performed” were never the issue. It is the undiscovered data that no work has been performed on that is at issue here and is the problem you are fighting not to discover, let alone resolve. My appeal to Shell is simply to discover the truth and do the right thing. You asked me in our April 19th meeting “if you cleaned up Corona would that fix the problem.” I responded “no.” I heard the long silence from all three of you after that “no.” Now by saying you do not have to clean up Corona because: 1) the risk is minimal, if any, 2) no regulations were broken and 3) no regulatory authority cares is a clear indication that Shell is trying hard to not meet its environmental responsibilities. As I repeatedly stated to you, the truth and proof is in Corona. If it isn’t there, in fact no local, state or federal regulations were broken. But you leave out the fact that if it is there, it was a fraudulent intentional act perpetrated by Satish Chopra that Shell is now trying to hide and cover up by way of Shell’s willful inaction – Shell’s pay off being not having to clean up the rest of the country at a substantial cost and preventing interference to Shell’s mass sell off of its retail locations. Which if allowed to continue, unaddressed, is a threat to the environment and public at large (see end note 3). David Sexton: Isn’t refusing to do a simple definitive test a clear bad act on your part and Shell’s, if the problem is there? So if it clearly comes down to whether the potential for pollution is there or not why isn’t David Sexton and Shell interested in the simple discovery of that truth? I believe the answer speaks for itself, but in the interim I suggest the three defenses you offer in your letter are transparently weak and reveal Shell’s true intent - to not meet its environmental responsibilities. Your 1st defense that the risk is negligible if not non-existent is absurd in light of the facts: 1) That the toxic waste of the hydraulic fluid alone will eventually break out of its encasement only 950 feet from a clean water aquifer, 2) The fact that any wastes under Chopra’s service station has already had over 15 years to deteriorate and especially 3) Given the fact that Shell has to sell this location to Satish Chopra in only a matter of months under PMPA guidelines and will never get cleaned up thereafter. Your 2nd defense that no local, state or federal laws were violated is factually correct only if the wastes are not under the station as Chopra told me they were. In the alternative, Shell is colluding with the intentional and fraudulent acts of Satish Chopra if the wastes are there as confided to me by Mr. Chopra. Chopra was concerned enough himself to tell me on July 2, 2005 that “if Shell were to find out what he did he was afraid Shell would cancel his lease and not sell him the location as the wastes he left in place are very close to an aquifer.” When Mr. Chopra told me Shell was selling its locations in mass using severely restrictive non-disclosure agreements, I told him I could not promise him that I wouldn’t pursue the matter independent of working for him. Satish Chopra dismissed me in an attempt to prevent that disclosure. That disclosure is what got us to this point. In any event, what Satish Chopra did was illegal when I worked for Texaco. It was considered a crime by the 1st EPA agent I contacted in San Diego mid 2005. It was a concern by the Chief Counsel of the State Water Resources Control Board of the California Environmental Protection Agency, Michael A.M. Lauffer in page 4, paragraph 3 of his 1st letter to me, “if hydraulic lifts were indeed buried at either of these sites, there may not be a public record of that…if you have any information that hydraulic lifts were buried, and, in particular, of hydraulic fluid having been buried or discharged, please provide this information to us and we will follow-up accordingly and apprise you of our findings.” Your 3rd defense that no governmental agency cares about the issue is only wishful thinking on your part or just a worthless ploy. The Lauffer quote above speaks to that issue just as I said it did in our April 19th phone meeting. Additionally, you should know by now government agencies are slow to wake up, but when they do they can intervene decisively. I have no doubt to that effect in this instance. Catalytic intervention from me is unavoidable. I know the industry from having worked for Texaco in an exceptional capacity at the corporate level and then by owning my own Texaco service station.2 2 So, to clearly show that the truth of the problem can be immediately and non-invasively discovered right now, I have attached quotes by reputable geophysicists that can detect what I have brought to Shell’s attention in a matter of hours. Ironically, as I said in our phone meeting, the GPR technology is a technological byproduct of exploration in the oil industry. I also attached: • Pictures to show the non-invasive ease for which the test can be done • What can be tested along with an example of an actual test • Environmental Protection Agency’s GPR description and analysis The geophysics lab that I think is best is the 2nd least expensive. He assures me he can even find any leaking hydraulic fluid out of the hydraulic lines. That’s how accurate this test can be if done in 3D using the proper equipment with someone expert enough to read the results. Now that I have removed any uncertainty in regards as to what and how to test for the truth at Satish Chopra’s service station(s), I will also remove any defense you have that it costs Shell too much to do this test: I hereby agree to pay for either the IST Laboratory or SubSurface Surveys test at Lincoln Avenue Shell for any convenient 2-4 hour time period we can arrange, if the test is done and does not find the buried wet garage sump and hydraulic lifts.3 If the equipment is there, you pay for the test and take the appropriate action. Satish Chopra wants to get his good name back and I am sure that you, David Sexton, and Shell wish to preserve your good names and reputations. Accordingly, this test will settle the Corona matter between us if you are indeed correct that all local, state and federal statutes and regulations were met at that location, and there is no risk to the aquifer, in that the items in question were not left there unabated. You said “you had many excellent and qualified personnel at Shell and didn’t need to hire outside consultants.” If your excellent people at Shell have a substitution for this test, or a proposal alternate to mine, what is it and when are you going to do it? • There is only one way to finally prove what you allege, that nothing is there – do the test. • There is only one way to prove Satish Chopra told me the truth and is lying to you – do the test. • There is only one way for any authority to sort through this dispute and insure a precious resource is not unduly polluted, now or in the future – do the test. • There is only one way to insure Shell does not commit a felony real estate transaction, after all these notices, with any purchaser – do the test. • There is only one way for you personally, Shell and every board member to insure you and they do not to commit a criminal conspiracy under RICO for not cleaning up the stations you purchased from Texaco4 - do the right thing – do the test. Regards, Robert Armstrong Attachments: Geo Model Quote; IST Laboratory Quote: IST Sample Test; GSSI Product Pictures; GeoRadar Imaging Brochure; GPR Providers in California cc: Levine, Steinberg, Miller & Huver Governor Schwarzenegger Chief Counsel, State Water Resources Control Board bcc/RA/jc 3 End Notes 1 The hour long film my company Golden Galaxy Pictures produced, Secrets, had a budget of $270,000, was hosted by Richard Anderson (“Oscar” Six Million Dollar Man, shot in the style of In Search Of hosted by Leonard Nimoy), was directed by Vince Connelly (Gold Reel and Golden Scissor Award winner for Midnight Cowboy, the original Poseidon Adventure and The Producers by Mel Brooks), edited by Anthony DiMarco (Prince’s movie Purple Rain & Linda Blair’s Chained Heat and Hell Night), the director of photography was from National Geographic, most of the crew came off of Superman and Beast Master, the sound man from Walt Disney. 2 I had to sue Texaco using Harris Steinberg when Texaco refused to give me dealer papers when I left Texaco as “they did not want me setting a precedent for other employees to leave and take service stations.” It ended quickly as this was just after Steinberg’s win against Shell in Eastridge vs. Shell Oil Company for $5.2 million. 3 Quoting IST Laboratory, “3D imaging with GPR will also show leaks in hydraulic lines under the slab by outlining the pool of fluid.” However, Shell is attempting to sell these locations before the fluid breaks out of its incasement and can be detected or pollute adjacent aquifers (this letter is evidence to that effect). Having tested the location with “Phase I and Phase II” testing, that only tests for gasoline leaks before the closing date of the sale, Shell will claim that they are not responsible and shift the cleanup burden to whoever owns the location (and their insurance company), at the time any aquifer is in fact contaminated. Shell is doing the same with all of its locations, converting most if not all of its “franchise retailers” to “open dealers,” in order to dump its persistent UST failures for gasoline containment the same way its trying to dump the Texaco under-slab pollution problem. It is not the leaks now that are the concern, it is the future leaks from the design flaws of Shell’s “UST” gasoline containment systems. Right now, retailers get a greatly reduced “packaged rate” from the insurance companies because, as owners of the dirt, oil companies are de facto guarantors. However, after the “closing date” of the sale, the retailer will bear responsibility for all enviromental problems that weren’t present prior to that closing date. When the insurance companies wake up to what happened to them, it will be too late and environmental insurance for retail gasoline stations will skyrocket and be unaffordable - like it is in the health care industry in the United States. 1) Retailers less financially able along with 2) the insurance industry raising the rates to capture the risk associated with no oil company guarantee and with 3) the containment systems inadequate, failing and needing replacement, a national fund to cleanup the mess would have to be instituted - paid for by the taxpayers and not the oil industry. The current containment system, due to its design flaws and natural lifecycle, will have to be redesigned and re-implemented. Shell knows that. The retailers do not. The insurance companies do not and regulators are asleep basking in what they think is “the absolute assignment of liability” in the existing laws. “Absolute liability” isn’t so “absolute” if the oil companies can effectively distance themselves from the retail dirt. Shell is the 1st major oil company to attempt it in mass. I have Shell’s “Retailer Offer to Purchase Premises” agreement. There is little doubt that it is designed to shed Shell of its environmental liability and is destined to work unless effective intervention is initiated in some manner. 4 I do not need Shell to help me find the other service stations. Having worked for Texaco, I can do it without your cooperation. It is just easier, non-litigious and less public if we cooperate. If “there is as much oil released in eight months from non-point sources…as there was in the Exxon Valdez spill, which is still this country's worst environmental disaster” - former EPA director, Christine Todd Whitman. Why should anyone let Shell add to that by not fixing the Texaco problem? Texaco Background: If you think Texaco was policing the environmental compliance of its retailers, think again. A Rep. kept a gun in his glove box and had threatened a retailer that he would kill him if he ever sold the service station the Rep. got him and didn’t give him half. The Rep. I replaced carried a gun in his boot. Another Rep. threw his Area Manager out a closed glass window from a second story apartment. An Area Manger ran an “escort service” (prostitution) out of his Texaco office. I myself initiated and conducted an investigation proving a multi million dollar contract operator of multiple Texaco food marts stole over $150,000 from Texaco while the Rep. was taking a monthly bribe to look the other way. The acting Division Manager took a bribe of a ski trip to Mammoth in the contractor’s private condo in return for a small inconsequential fine (the original Division Manager was demoted for a separate impropriety). We later all went to dinner with that contractor in his limousine. Why do you think the PMPA was passed against this industry to begin with? I can go on, but you seriously believe Texaco didn’t let, encourage or condone its retailers to break a few EPA Regs.? Satish Chopra bragged of what he could get away with that Texaco couldn’t. I myself put in a food mart modifying the building without pulling any permits. When I was with Texaco I had to fight the city planner personally over putting up a simple car wash sign. It is not that there are different standards. The point is that the standards were always enforced differently for an Oil Company than for the individual retailer. It’s the well known issue of “deep pockets.” That is what caused the problem at Chopra’s locations and is the basis of Shell employee claims that “when the Oil Company creates a problem they get fined millions of dollars and when a retailer gets fined they only pay thousands.” Personal Background: As for me, I was the only marketing representative to have open accounts at the finest restaurants in San Diego in order to entertain all the Texaco dignitaries that came to see how I did the “Petro-Man Salary Operations.” That was stopped immediately after I left Texaco. I guess I was one of the few they trusted. 4 World Leader in Ground Penetrating Radar Geophysical Survey Systems, Inc. (GSSI) is the world leader in the development and manufacture of Ground Penetrating Radar Systems, referred to as Subsurface Interface Radar (SIR®) Systems and Electromagnetic Induction Instruments (EMI). These systems are used to non-destructively explore the subsurface of the ground for a wide variety of industries and to inspect our infrastructure systems. GSSI's leadership in subsurface radar equipment is a consequence of its creation of the first commercial GPR system and the innovation and dedication of its technical staff. GSSI provides the widest range of equipment covering all applications from borehole data collection to high-speed highway and railroad data collection. No other GPR manufacturer covers this wide range of applications. We provide our customers high quality services and productive tools to solve their subsurface detection problems. The company manufactures custom equipment for specific applications. GSSI sells systems to countries on every continent through a worldwide support network of representatives. 4160 Market Street, Suite 11 Ventura, CA 93003 p. 805-642-4232 f. 805 642-4234 www.istlabs.com 2-07-06 The Mark Co. ATTN: Debbie Pack Debbi, Below is an example of a GPR “Line Scan”. What you are looking at is a series of hyperbolas (The boomerang looking images) at about 1” to 2 ½” from the surface ( the black line at the top). Multiply scans of a road intersection can be determined by the change in images every foot. White lines along the top of the screen are at 6” intervals. In 3D mode below we are looking down into the earth about 3’ deep. What we are seeing is number of utility lines at this depth. The bright lines going horizontal from right to left and then going up at an a slight angle is the gas line we were looking for. This is what the 3D Cube looks like on our computers. You can see the image of the gas line in the cube as it looks in the image above. Below is an animation of the gas line as we know it is from the blue prints of the intersection. The extension of the gas line to the right of the connection is the thrust plate to secure the connection. There is no animation to show this feature. The blue pipe is a 12” water line seen in the 3D image as the faint line along the bottom of the image. It is a composite pipe, non metallic while the gas line is metal which shows up bright on the image even though it is 4” smaller than the water line. I hope this helps to clarify what we can do for you. Best regards, Richard Soto IST Laboratory Inc. 2075 Corte Del Nogal, Suite W SubSurface Surveys Carlsbad, CA 92011 & Associates, Inc. An Applied Geophysical Company Office: (760) 476-0492 Fax: (760) 476-0493 FACSIMILE COVER SHEET COMPANY: The Armstrong Group NAME: Robert Armstrong Email: firstname.lastname@example.org PHONE: (909) 327-1511 FROM: George Herman DATE: May 9th, 2006 BID FOR GEOPHYSICAL SURVEY SITE: Service Station, Corona, CA SURVEY AREA: All accessible portions of the inside the food mart. SCOPE: To locate and delineate, insofar as possible, any garage sumps and/or hydraulic lifts under the concrete slab. A Site Interpretation Map and Site Photographs of the survey area, depicting utilities and anomalies detected, will be provided with the final report. SURVEY SETUP: A grid will be established to guide data acquisition over the survey area. GPR data will be collected at along profiles spaced two feet apart. COMMENTS: 1. The site is currently an active business. 2. All the shelving will need to be moved away from the survey area (or at minimum to the outer perimeter) to allow for sufficient profiles to be collected with minimal interference. 3. Detecting a hydraulic fuel leak, although possible, may not be probable. 4. All of our employees are OSHA certified and LPS trained. BID: We estimate that the survey can be completed in 2 Hours at the rate of $840.00 ($280/hour + $350 mobilization fee. We will bring at least five geophysical instruments to the field (including two EM, Magnetic Gradiometer, GPR, and Utility Locator) and configure them in a manner to acquire the most definitive information on the subsurface. A registered Geophysicist will direct all work. The price quote includes all charges through the issuance of a professional report. The report states the methodology used, the survey setup, our interpretation and conclusions, and appropriate graphics will also be included (in this case, a site interpretation map and digital photographs). NOTE: Although our site interpretation maps are an accurate representation of the site and our findings, they are not of engineering quality (i.e. surveyed by a licensed land surveyor). If you require additional information or if we can be of further assistance, please call. NOTE: This bid/quote is valid for a period not to exceed 3 months from the above date. NUMBER OF PAGES SENT _1_ Subsurface Surveys & Associates, Inc. www.subsurfacesurveys.com email@example.com U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Ground Penetrating Radar (http://fate.clu-in.org/gpr.asp?techtypeid=41) Description Ground penetrating radar (commonly called GPR) is a geophysical method that has been developed over the past thirty years for shallow, high-resolution, subsurface investigations of the earth. GPR uses high frequency pulsed electromagnetic waves (generally 10 MHz to 1,000 MHz) to acquire subsurface information. Energy is propagated downward into the ground and is reflected back to the surface from boundaries at which there are electrical property contrasts (click to see a schematic diagram of the process). GPR is a method that is commonly used for environmental, engineering, archeological, and other shallow investigations. Typical Uses GPR is used to map geologic conditions that include depth to bedrock, depth to the water table (Wright and others, 1984; Knoll and others, 1997), depth and thickness of soil and sediment strata on land and under fresh water bodies (Beres and Haeni, 1991; Smith and Jol, 1997), and the location of subsurface cavities and fractures in bedrock (Imse and Levine, 1985). Other applications include the location of objects such as pipes, drums, tanks, cables, and boulders, mapping landfill and trench boundaries (Benson, and others, 1983) mapping contaminants (Cosgrave and others, 1987; Brewster and Annan, 1994; Daniels and others, 1995; Guy and others, 2000), and conducting archeological investigations (Conyers and Goodman, 1997). Integration of GPR data with other surface geophysical methods, such as seismic, resistivity, or electromagnetic methods, reduces uncertainty in site characterization. Ground penetrating radar is now a widely accepted field screening technology for characterizing and imaging subsurface conditions. The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) has an approved Standard Guide for Using the Surface Ground Penetrating Radar Method for Subsurface Investigation. Useful EPA and USACE resources for geophysical methods include: • EPA/625/R-92/007 Use of Airborne, Surface, and Borehole Geophysical Techniques at Contaminated Sites • EPA Geophysics Advisor Expert System Version 2.0 • USACE, EM1110-1-1802, Geophysical Exploration for Engineering and Environmental Investigation Theory of Operation GPR uses high frequency pulsed electromagnetic waves (typically from 10 MHz to 1,000 MHz) to acquire subsurface information. The electromagnetic wave is radiated from a transmitting antenna, travels through the material at a velocity which is determined primarily by the electrical properties of the material. As the wave spreads out and travels downward, if it hits a buried object or boundary with different electrical properties, then part of the wave energy is reflected or scattered back to the surface, while part of its energy continues to travel downward. The wave that is reflected back to the surface is captured by a receiving antenna, and recorded on a digital storage device for later interpretation. The most common display of GPR data is one showing signal versus amplitude, and is referred to as a trace. A single GPR trace consists of the transmitted energy pulse followed by pulses that are received from reflecting objects or layers. A scan is a trace where a color or gray scale has been applied to the amplitude values. As the antenna(s) are moved along a survey line, a series of traces or scans are collected at discrete points along the line. These scans are positioned side by side to form a display profile of the subsurface. Electromagnetic waves travel at a specific velocity that is determined primarily by the electrical permittivity of the material. The velocity is different between materials with different electrical properties, and a signal passed through two material with different permittivities over the same distance will arrive at different times. The interval of time that it takes for the wave to travel from the transmit antenna to the receive antenna is simply called the transit time. The basic unit of electromagnetic wave travel time is the nanosecond (ns), where 1 ns=10-9 s. Since the velocity of an electromagnetic wave in air is 0.3 m/ns, then the travel time for an electromagnetic wave in air is approximately 3.3333 ns per m traveled. The velocity is proportional to the inverse square root of the permittivity of the material, and since the permittivity of earth materials is always greater than the permittivity of the air, the travel time of a wave in a material other than air is always greater than 3.3333 ns/m. Click to see a table that shows permittivities and velocities for various earth materials. System Components GPR equipment utilized for the measurement of subsurface conditions normally consists of a radar control unit, transmit and receive antennas, and suitable data storage and/or display devices. The radar control unit generates synchronized trigger pulses to the transmitter and receiver electronics in the antennas. These pulses control the transmitter and receiver electronics in order to generate a sampled waveform of the reflected radar pulses. Antennas are transducers that convert electrical currents on the metallic antenna elements (usually simple bowtie dipole antennas) to transmit electromagnetic waves that propagate into a material. Antennas radiate electromagnetic energy when there is a change in the acceleration of the current on the antenna. Radiation occurs along a curved path, and radiation occurs anytime that the current changes direction (e.g. at the end of the antenna element). Controlling and directing the electromagnetic energy from an antenna is the purpose of antenna design. Antennas also convert electromagnetic waves to currents on an antenna element, acting as a receiver of the electromagnetic energy by capturing part of the electromagntic wave. The center frequency of commercially available antennas range from 10 to 1000 MHz. These antennas generate pulses which typically have 2 to 3 octaves of bandwidth. In general, lower- frequency antennas provide an increase in depth of penetration but have less resolution than higher-frequency antennas. GPR systems are digitally controlled, and data are usually recorded digitally for post-survey processing and display. The digital control and display part of a GPR system generally consists of a microprocessor, memory, and a mass storage medium to store the field measurements. A small micro-computer and standard operating system is often utilized to control the measurement process, store the data, and serve as a user interface. Data may be filtered in the field to remove noise, or the raw data may be recorded and the data processed for noise remove at a later time. Field filtering for noise removal may consist of electronic filtering and/or digital filtering prior to recording the data on the mass data storage medium. Field filtering should be normally minimized except in those cases where the data are to be interpreted immediately after recording. Mode of Operation The most common mode of GPR data acquisition is referred to as the reflection profiling method. In the reflection mode of operation, a radar wave is transmitted, received and recorded each time the antenna has been moved a fixed distance across the surface of the ground, in a borehole, or across any other material that is being investigated. In addition to surveys on land and ice, surveys can also be made in lakes and rivers with low conductivity water. Three-dimensional ground-penetrating radar (GPR) consists of collecting GPR data on closely spaced (less than 1 meter) lines. Powerful computers are then used to composite these lines into a three-dimensional data volume that can be observed from any angle using any subset of the data. Transillumination measurements can be used in locations such as mines and boreholes where the transmitter and receiver can be put on opposite sides of a medium so as to look through it. Tomographic reconstruction techniques can be used to image the volume between the measurement points. Data Display and Interpretation The objective of GPR data presentation is to provide a display of the processed data that closely approximates an image of the subsurface, with the anomalies that are associated with the objects of interest located in their proper spatial positions. Data display is central to data interpretation, and is an integral part of interpretation. There are three of displays of surface GPR data, including: (1) a one-dimensional trace, (2) a two dimensional cross-section, and (3) a three-dimensional display. Borehole data can be displayed as a two-dimensional cross section, or processed to be displayed as a velocity or attenuation tomogram. A one-dimensional trace is not very much value until several traces are placed side- by-side to produce a two dimensional cross section, or placed in a three dimensional block view. The wiggle trace (or scan) is the building block of all displays. A single trace can be used to detect objects (and determine their depth) below a spot on the surface. By moving the antenna over the surface and recording traces at a fixed spacing, a record section of traces is obtained. The horizontal axis of the record section is surface position, and the vertical axis is the round-trip marvel time of the electromagnetic wave. A GPR record section is very similar to the display for an acoustic sonogram, or a fish finder. Wiggle trace displays are a natural connection to other common displays used in engineering (e.g. an oscilloscope display), but it is often impractical to display the numerous traces that are measured along a GPR transect in wiggle-trace form. Therefore, scan displays have become the normal mode of two dimensional data presentation for GPR data. A scan display is obtained by simply assigning a color (or a variation of color intensity) to amplitude ranges on the trace. Three dimensional displays are fundamentally block views of GPR traces that are recorded at different positions on the surface. Data are usually recorded along profile lines, in the case of a continuous recording system, or at discrete points on the surface in fixed-mode recording. In either case, the accurate location of each trace is critical to producing accurate 3D displays. Normally, 3D block views are constructed, then they may be viewed in a variety of ways, including as a solid block or as block slices. Obtaining good three-dimensional images are very useful for interpreting specific targets. Targets of interest are generally easier to identify and isolate on three dimensional data sets than on conventional two dimensional profile lines. Simplifying the image, by eliminating the noise and clutter is the most important factor for optimizing the interpretation. Image simplification may be achieved by: 1) carefully assigning the amplitude-color ranges; 2) displaying only one polarity of the GPR signal; 3) using a limited number of colors; 4) decreasing the size of the data set that is displayed as the complexity of the target increases; 5) displaying a limited range (finite-thickness time slice); and 6) carefully selecting the viewing angle. Further image simplification in cases of very complex (or multiple) targets may also be achieved by displaying only the peak values (maximum and minimum values) for each trace. Finite-thickness (pillow) time slices and cross sections have many advantages over infinitesimal thin slices that are routinely used for interpreting GPR data. Performance Specs The GPR method is site specific in its performance depending upon the surface and subsurface conditions. Performance specifications include requirements for or information about reflections, depth of investigation, resolution, interferences, calibration, quality control, and precision and bias. Reflections Reflections are created by an abrupt change in the electrical and magnetic properties of the material the electromagnetic waves are traveling through. In most situations, magnetic effects are small. Most GPR reflections are due to changes in the relative permittivity of material. The greater the change in properties the more signal is reflected. In addition to having a sufficient electromagnetic property contrast, the boundary between the two materials needs to be sharp. Depth of Penetration The principle limiting factor in depth of penetration of the GPR method is attenuation of the electromagnetic wave in the earth materials. The attenuation predominantly results from the conversion of electromagnetic energy to thermal energy due to high conductivities of the soil, rock, and fluids. Scattering of electromagnetic energy may become a dominant factor in attenuation if a large number of inhomogeneties exist on a scale equal to the wavelength of the radar wave. GPR depth of penetration can be more than 30 meters in materials having a conductivity of a few milliSiemens/meter. In certain conditions such as thick polar ice or salt deposits, penetration depth can be as great as 5000 meters. However, penetration is commonly less than 10 meters in most soil and rock. Penetration in mineralogic clays and in materials having conductive pore fluids may be limited to less than 1 meter. Interferences The GPR method is sensitive to unwanted signals (noise) caused by various geologic and cultural factors. Geologic (natural) sources of noise can be caused by boulders, animal burrows, tree roots, and other inhomogeneties can cause unwanted reflections or scattering. Cultural sources of noise can include reflections from nearby vehicles, buildings, fences, power lines, and trees. Shielded antennas can be used to limit these types of reflections. Electromagnetic transmissions from cellular telephones, two-way radios, television, and radio and microwave transmitters may cause noise on GPR records. Resolution GPR provides the highest lateral and vertical resolution of any surface geophysical method. Various frequency antennas (10 to 1000 MHz) can be selected so that the resulting data can be optimized to the projects needs. Lower frequency provides greater penetration with less resolution. Higher frequencies provide less penetration with higher resolution. Resolution of a few centimeters can be obtained with high frequency antennas (1 GHz) at shallow depths, while lower frequency antennas (10 MHz) may have a resolution of approximately one meter at greater depths. Horizontal resolution is determined by the distance between station measurements, and/or the sample rate, the towing speed of the antenna, and the frequency of the antenna. Calibration The manufacturer's recommendations should be followed for the calibration and standardization of GPR equipment. An operational check should be conducted before each project and before starting fieldwork each day. A routine check of equipment should be made on a periodic basis and after each problem. Quality Control Quality control can be appropriately applied to GPR measurements, and are applicable to the procedures, processing, and interpretation phases of the survey. Good quality control requires that standard procedures (such as given in ASTM Standard Guide D6432-99) are followed and appropriate documentation made. Precision and Bias Precision is a measure of the repeatability between measurements. Precision can be affected by the location of the antennas, the tow speed, the coupling of the antennas to the ground surface, the variations in soil conditions, and the ability and care involved in picking reflections. Assuming that soil conditions remain the same (that is, soil moisture), repeatability of radar measurements can be 100%. Bias is defined as a measure of closeness to the truth. The accuracy of a GPR survey is dependent upon picking travel times, processing and interpretation, and site-specific limitations, such as unknown changes in radar velocities (lateral and vertical) or the presence of steeply dipping layers. Advantages GPR measurements are relatively easy to make and are not intrusive. Antennas may be pulled by hand or with a vehicle from 0.8 to 8 kph, or more, that can produce considerable data/unit time. GPR data can often be interpreted right in the field without data processing. Graphic displays of GPR data often resemble geologic cross sections. When GPR data are collected on closely spaced (less than 1 meter) lines, these data can be used to generate dimensional views of radar data greatly improving the ability to interpret subsurface conditions. Limitations The major limitation of GPR is its site specific performance. Often, the depth of penetration is limited by the presence of mineralogic clays or high conductivity pore fluid. Cost Data The cost of GPR systems vary widely depending on the complexity of the systems. Most systems fall in the $15,000 to $50,000 range. GPR systems can be rented for about $1,000 per week and a $300 mobilization charge. GPR surveys can be conducted by contractors with costs ranging from $1,000 to $2,000 per day depending on the amount of interpretation needed and if a report is required. Vendor/Instrument Information Vendor Instrument Trade Name Geophysical Survey Systems Inc. SIR Systems, Pathfinder MALÅ GeoScience RAMAC/GPR System Sensors & Software Inc. pulseEKKO Systems, Noggin Systems Additional Resources References Annan, A.P., 1992. Ground penetrating radar workshop notes. Sensors and Software Inc., Mississauga, Ontario, 128 p. Benson, R.C., R.A. Glaccum, and M.R. Noel, 1983. Geophysical techniques for sensing buried wastes and waste migration. Environmental Monitoring Systems Laboratory, U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, Contract #68-03-3050, Las Vegas, NV, 1983, 236 p. Beres, M., and F.P. Haeni, 1991. Application of ground penetrating radar methods in hydrogeologic studies. Ground Water, vol. 29, no. 3, p. 375-386. Conyers, L.B. and D. Goodman, 1997. Ground-penetrating radar, an introduction for archaeologists. Altamira Press, Walnut Creek, CA, 232 p. Daniels, J.J., 1989. Fundamentals of ground penetrating radar. Proceedings of the Symposium on the Application of Geophysics to Engineering and Environmental Problems. Colorado School of Mines, Golden, Colorado, p. 62-142. Daniels, J.J., J. Bower, and F. Baumgartner, 1998. High resolution GPR at Brookhaven National Lab to delineate complex subsurface structure. Journal Environmental and Engineering Geophysics, vol. 3, Issue 1, p. 1-6. Daniels, J.J., D.L. Grumman, and M. Vendl, 1997. Coincident antenna three dimensional GPR. Journal of Environmental and Engineering Geophysics. vol. 2, p. 1-9. Daniels, J.J., R. Roberts, and M. Vendl, 1995. Ground penetrating radar for the detection of liquid contaminants. Journal of Applied Geophysics, vol. 33, p. 195-207. Davis, J.L., and A.P. Annan, 1989. Ground penetrating radar for soil and rock stratigraphy. Geophysical Prospecting, vol. 37, p. 531-551. Fisher, E., G.A. McMechan, and A.P. Annan, 1992. Acquisition and processing of wide-aperture ground penetrating radar data. Geophysics, vol. 57, no. 3, p. 495-504. Guy, E.D., J.J. Daniels, J. Holt, S.J. Radzevicius, and M.A. Vendl, 2000. Electromagnetic induction and GPR measurements for creosote contaminant investigation. Journal Environmental and Engineering Geophysics, vol. 5, Issue 2, p. 11-19. Guy, E.D., J.J. Daniels, S.J. Radzevicius, and M.A. Vendl, 1999. Demonstration of using crossed dipole GPR antenna for site characterization. Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 26, no. 22. p. 3421-3424. Haeni, F.P., 1996. Use of ground penetrating radar and continuous seismic-reflection on surface- water bodies in environmental and engineering studies. Journal of Environmental & Engineering Geophysics, vol. 1, no. 1, p. 27-36. Holt, J., Vendl, M., Baumgartner, F., Radziviscius, S., and Daniels, J.J., 1998, Brownfields site- characterization using geophysics: A case history from East Chicago: Proceedings of the Symposium on the Application of Geophysics to Engineering and Environmental Problems: Environmental and Engineering Geophysical Society, March 22-26, 1998, Chicago, IL, p. 389-395. Imse, J.P. and E.N. Levine, 1985. Conventional and state-of-the-art geophysical techniques for fracture detection. Proceedings Second Annual Eastern Groundwater Conference, July 16-18, 1985, National Water Well Assoc., Portland, Maine, p. 261-278. Knoll, M.D., F.P. Haeni, and R.J. Knight, 1991. Characterization of a sand and gravel aquifer using ground penetrating radar, Cape Cod, Massachusetts. U.S. Geological Survey Water Resources Investigations Report 91-4035, p. 29-35. Olhoeft, G.R., 1998. Electrical, magnetic, and geometric properties that determine ground penetrating performance. in Proc. Seventh International Conference on Ground Penetrating Radar, May 27-30, 1998, the University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS, 786 p. Placzek, G., and F.P. Haeni, 1995. Surface-geophysical techniques used to detect existing and infill scour holes near bridge piers. U.S. Geological Survey Water Resources Investigations Report 95-4009, 44 p. Smith, D.G., and H. Jol, 1997. Radar structure of a Gilbert-type delta, Peyto Lake, Banff National Park, Canada. Sedimentary Geology, vol. 113, p. 195-209. Ulriksen, C.P.F., 1982. Application of impulse radar to civil engineering, PhD. Thesis, Department of Engineering Geology, Lund University of Technology, Sweden, 175 p. Internet Sites: Jeff Daniels, Department of Geological Sciences, The Ohio State University, GPR Research GRORADAR by Gary R. Olhoeft Branch of Geophysical Applications and Support, U.S. Geological Survey GPR 2002 Ninth International Conference on Ground Penetrating Radar April 29 - May 2, 2002, Santa Barbara, CA, U.S.A. EPA Contact Mark Vendl U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 77 W. Jackson Blvd. Chicago, IL 60604 312-886-0405 FAX 312-353-9281 firstname.lastname@example.org GPR Providers in California Advanced Geoscience, Inc. Subsurface Surveys & Associates, Inc. 716 Yarmouth Road, Suite 207 215 South Hwy 101, Suite 203 Palos Verdes Estates, CA 90274 PO Box 1152 Contact: Mark Olson Tel: 310-265-8420 Solana Beach, CA 92075 Email: email@example.com Contact: Leopold Mairesse, George Herman Tel: 858-481-8949 Bess Testlab, Inc. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 991 George Street Santa Clara, CA 95054 Subtronic Corporation Contact: Jose Bohorquez Tel: 408-988-0101 2430 Spring Court, Suite C Email: email@example.com Concord, CA 94520 Contact: Jonathon Taylor Tel: 925-686-3747 CTC Services, Inc. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 3144 Venture Drive Lincoln, CA 95648 Underground Radar Service LLC Contact: Anthony Woods Tel: 916-434-0195 42330 10th Street, West Lancaster, CA 93534 Digital Concrete Scanning Contact: Al Letcher Tel: 661-945-1856 531 53rd Street Oakland, CA 94609 Valley Industrial X-Ray Contact: Robert A. Schubert Tel: 510-985-1050 6201 Knudsen Drive Email: email@example.com Bakersfield, CA 93308 Contact: Scott Williams Tel: 661-399-8497 Geovision 1151 Pomona Road Corona, CA 91325 Contact: Tony Martin, Mark Riches Tel: 951- 549-1234 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org IST Laboratory, Inc. 4160 Market Street, Suite 11 Ventura, CA 93003 Contact: Richard Soto Tel: 805-642-4232 Email: email@example.com Ninyo & Moore 5710 Ruffin Road San Diego, CA 92123-1013 Contact: Mark Edwards Tel: 858-576-1000 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Sierra Nevada GSI PO Box 1506 Grass Valley, CA 95945 Contact: Tom Nicholson Tel: 530-271-5393 Robert Armstrong 16341 Chino-Corona Rd., Chino, CA 91710-2722 FAX (909) 597-1295 Phone (909) 597-0919 April 20, 2006 David Sexton, President Sent via Fax & Email: email@example.com Shell Oil Company/Shell Oil Products US 1 Shell Plaza, 910 Louisiana St. Houston, TX 77002 RE: “Why Should I Hire You as a Consultant?” Dear Mr. Sexton: Nobody Wants This Job You are not hiring me as a consultant because Shell can’t do the job. You are hiring me because Shell doesn’t want the job. No one at Shell wants to do this task, including you. It is a loser from the start. It is a career killer. Shell’s board is going to dislike anyone bringing bad news. You fix the stations and it costs too much. You don’t fix the stations and the lawyers, government and public are in an uproar. There is no one inside or outside Shell standing in line behind me wanting this position. The simple truth is that no one wants this job except me. That is why we should co-operate. The payoff for me is that the problem gets fixed faster and easier. The “urgency” is in the fact that Shell is currently selling its retail locations in mass. The pay off for Shell is that the job actually gets done, preventing the consequences of Shell not acting. I think the best I can hope for is “malicious compliance,” but you won’t even get that if you task this internally. Everything in your phone call was an indication of “avoidance.” You said “the Corona paperwork is correct and complete,” yet there is no disposal receipt or disposal records and Shell made no contact with the contractor that did the work or checked the records at the waste disposal site. Your “excellent and talented employees” have yet to run any test to determine the validity of what Satish told me he did, that a simple rubber wheeled ground penetrating radar unit would discover in seconds. We need to get past any further excuses to not fix the problem. I suggest it comes to this: If Shell hires me as a consultant, Shell wants to fix it. If Shell doesn’t, Shell intends to not fix the problem and will try and wiggle out of it anyway it can. Why else would it take eight months and the President of Shell having to address this issue? Whether Shell “wants” my help is not the point. The point is Shell needs someone to come in from the outside and take the “blame” for what needs to be done. I look around and I don’t see anyone else wanting to do that. Your employees are loyal to Shell. They “protect the machine that feeds them.” Whoever takes this job will have to work against Shell’s corporate culture and swim upstream, against Shell’s current efforts in selling service stations, rather than fixing them. “Double Bind” Kept internally, this job could damage anyone’s career at Shell. There is no upside. It is a “Lose/Lose” proposition. It is a “double bind,” damned if you do damned if you don’t situation. I sense from our meeting you feel that already. So, why inflict that on anyone at Shell? Simple reasoning says it is the explanation for why you are personally stuck with this problem. It has already been a “double bind” for those under you. So who else are you going to give it to? Not knowing where to draw the line, in cleaning up stations, this is a “career damaging predicament” for anyone at Shell. However, if we work together, to draw that line, the problem disappears. [It’s not a “double bind” for me as I intend to fix it with or without Shell’s co-operation.] Corporate Culture I am impressed by you. You are not afraid of the truth. You called me personally over a difficult situation. I would bet you have the ability to be one of the best Presidents Shell ever had, but this issue now has your name on it. I agree, “Shell did not create the problem.” However, I am offering you the opportunity to “let the blame be carried away” by an ex-Texaco employee. When the term of our agreement ends, I will take all the animosity that that blame entails and remove it from the corporate culture of Shell. When I go, the “blame” goes with me. A Shell Area Manager once told me Shell never factored in Texaco wages for Shell pay grades, because “when you pay peanuts you hire monkeys.” With long standing animosity towards Texaco, it certainly doesn’t get any better now. No one will say “good job” for fixing the Texaco problem. There’s no “gold star on anyone’s record” for this one. Accordingly, I sincerely believe without me, this task doesn’t even get started let alone finished. If ever there was a time for you to hire an outside consultant, this is it. Therefore, my offer to you is simple. I am here to help. It needs to get done. We can either work together and tightly focus our efforts in attempting to find the easiest, least costly procedure to address the problem or we can use the rough justice of broad strokes from outside intervention. Is it up to you. I am just a “good ole country boy” that sees an issue that needs to be addressed for the good of everyone, other than Shell’s profitability. That would have some sway if Shell was not making mammoth record profits that Shell is hoarding by not even cleaning up Corona, let alone the rest of the country. The truth in this exercise is quite transparent and easily recognized by everyone. Shell has a job to do and, so far, Shell is not doing it. Here’s why. Endemic Resistance By you having to personally address this issue, it is clear that resistance to the Texaco problem is endemic at Shell and will not be overcome without some type of “catalytic intervention.” Let that catalyst be me and we can achieve the best outcome with the least intrusion and the least pain. That’s my pitch to you. No doubt you have a multitude of great people at Shell, but if you give it to them, without my co-operation, they will fight to do nothing or at best the least possible and that will cause the ‘bad faith” I warned you about. It’s happening now. Even if you don’t lose to “bad faith” in the legal system you will lose to “bad faith” in the court of public opinion. By stalling, you are losing that battle already. If you don’t clean up, after personally talking to me, it is a foregone conclusion. Most importantly, the proof of what I say about Texaco’s past is in Corona. And not cleaning up Corona will not give Shell any reason not to survey the rest of the country and clean up whatever is necessary. That should be perfectly clear, especially after our meeting on Wednesday. I am confident I can clean up Corona without your help, but what does that say about you, Shell’s board of directors or its shareholders? When the verdict over Pennzoil vs. Texaco came over the speaker at a meeting of the “Seven Sisters” in Houston, I understand “the six other oil executives” clapped. I am sympathetic that Shell ended up with a Texaco problem. However, as a qualified ex-Texaco employee who wants to help, I am your man to fix it. You already know I have the integrity. What you don’t know is that I truly want “fairness” in addressing this issue. I sincerely believe that fairness will only come by way of our co-operation and not by fighting. Best Solution It is clear that no one understands the problem better than I (or you) do. Isn’t that the reason you called me? It is time we get together and just fix the problem as best we can by finding the simple answer. The fix is going to happen. It is up to you as the President of Shell to pick the best solution. I offer my talent and expertise, per the attached proposal and agreement, accordingly. Given Shell’s pro-active co-operation, I can suggest the quickest, easiest and least costly solution available and agree to any proposal that I think fairly addresses the issue. So we don’t lose any further momentum in fixing this issue, please let me know at your earliest convenience. Timing is always important. The offer is made. It was a pleasure meeting you. I hope we get a chance to work together and know each other better. In any event, I wish you all that you wish for yourself. Regards, Robert Armstrong Attachments: Proposal & Consulting Agreement bcc/RA/jc Consulting Proposal to Shell Oil Company “It is only when we look at things exactly they way they are, that a light develops by which we know the right way to proceed” – I Ching Proposal Robert Armstrong has brought to Shell’s attention several issues concerning the environment that he thinks can best be addressed in the positive atmosphere of co-operation. Accordingly, Mr. Armstrong proposes that the attached agreement is to his and Shell’s mutual benefit and is the most proactive way Shell and he can show their mutual desire to create a “Win/Win” way to address Shell’s “good corporate governance” of the environmental issues and liabilities Shell inherited when it purchased Texaco. “Things to Look At” The primary issue the attached agreement addresses is the probability that there are more Texaco stations converted to food marts and/or quick service restaurants like Satish Chopra’s Lincoln Avenue Shell station in Corona, California that is known to have toxic wastes from when it was operated as a auto repair facility, that were left in place and covered over with concrete, consisting of an underground garage sump and two hydraulic lifts along with the hydraulic fluid that was used to operate those lifts and any other toxic materials that may have been purposefully hidden there. In that the service station is located only 950 feet from a clean water aquifer and has been in this condition for some fifteen years or so and any waste will break through its encasements eventually, it is quite likely that the other service station operated by Satish Chopra at Sixth Street in Corona is also similarly effected. Further, given that Texaco allowed retailers to freely convert their auto repair garage bay service stations to food mart and/or quick service restaurants it is most likely there are other service stations throughout the United States that would need to be surveyed, tested and remediated as necessary. Complicating the issue of remediation is the fact that Shell is currently selling a significant number, if not all, of its service stations, buildings, land and equipment, to its retailers in a process that effectively shifts all future and undiscovered environmental issues to its retailers upon the closing date of the sale. This is achieved through numerous “purchaser indemnification clauses” and contractually required “perpetuitous insurance guarantees.” Two additional issues that can be addressed in the consulting services offered to Shell is Mr. Armstrong’s concern that there is potential for “bad faith” claims regarding a lack of “full disclosure” in the sale of Shell service stations regarding Shell’s UST systems per Shell’s “Retailer Offer to Purchase Premises” agreement and the further potential for “bad faith” in the presentation process of those offers (at least at it applies to Shell’s California real estate department). Those were two primary issues that led Mr. Armstrong to the research and discovery of the collective issues that brought Shell and Mr. Armstrong together. [However, Mr. Armstrong is confident Shell can make the necessary changes to its disclosures without effecting Shell’s business objectives. He also believes that the “transaction process” in Shell’s offer to its retailers is easily and painlessly changeable, if Shell chooses to follow his suggestions after the execution of this agreement.] Consulting Proposal From Robert Armstrong to Shell Oil Company “A Light Develops” In that current testing methods do not detect under slab contamination from the fraudulent or negligent acts of individual retailers that Shell may have had no knowledge of and that Mr. Armstrong just came to fully understand on July 2, 2005, by executing the attached, Shell and Mr. Armstrong would agree to cooperate in addressing the collective issues that have just recently been brought to Shell’s and Mr. Armstrong’s attention by way of the actions of “Satish Chopra.” If Shell and Mr. Armstrong were to enter into the attached consulting agreement it would be in recognition of their independent determination that it would be more effective to work together than to have outside parties impose mandates that would most likely be overreaching in the current political climate of record gasoline prices along with record profits for the oil industry in an era of supply uncertainty and political instability. It is in the interest of not letting the possible overreaction to the environmental problems brought to Shell’s attention eclipse the issue of fairness, that Mr. Armstrong offers his cooperation via the attached agreement to Shell Oil. “Right Way to Proceed” Robert Armstrong has rationally determined that it could be more effective to work with Shell’s “proactive cooperation” than against Shell trying to force results through government agencies, political entities, litigation or public concern and is making this proposal accordingly. Cost Efficiency of Co-operative Teamwork Robert Armstrong is offering Shell the opportunity to take advantage of his efforts, expertise and assistance in the interest of teaming together to tackle the environmental issues above. If Shell were to execute this agreement, it would come from Shell’s independent determination that it is advantageous to Shell to co-op Mr. Armstrong’s insights and abilities, by hiring him as a consultant, as a means to efficiently address and cost effectively remedy the environmental concerns he has brought to Shell’s attention. Why? Besides possessing a masters degree in business administration and a undergraduate degree in economics, Mr. Armstrong grew up giving “Circle Service” in his father’s two Shell service stations before being hired by Texaco. Prior to Texaco, Mr. Armstrong worked for an underground construction company designing and developing soil compaction procedures that eliminated construction delays and provided for “failure free testing and inspection.” Using Mr. Armstrong’s techniques the company achieved zero inspection, testing and construction delays, setting a record for laying the most pipe in the greatest consecutive days. For Texaco, Inc., Robert Armstrong initiated the 1st salary operated Food Mart in the history of Texaco. Mr. Armstrong eventually ran six “salary operated” Food Marts on top of his existing work load. The model he set in San Diego became the company’s “Star Mart” Program, internationally. Robert was the 1st Texaco employee, at any level, to incorporate the Getty Oil “Petro-Man” Program into Texaco, without any instruction or help from Texaco whatsoever (details available). A key element in this proposal is that Mr. Armstrong has the unique expertise of having “worked both sides,” in that Mr. Armstrong owned and operated a Texaco franchise garage service station that he converted the greater part of into a Texaco Food Mart. Accordingly, Mr. Armstrong is intimately aware of Texaco’s full marketing programs from the company and franchise perspectives and is intimately aware of what was required of both in each of those capacities, especially in the key years that Texaco retailers converted their garage bays to food marts. 2 Consulting Proposal From Robert Armstrong to Shell Oil Company The agenda in any of Robert Armstrong’s actions is to insure environmental integrity through Shell’s good corporate responsibility. However, Mr. Armstrong believes that result is best effectuated by Shell and Mr. Armstrong entering into this agreement in a serious commitment of a five year term at an adequate rate of compensation to Mr. Armstrong. The risk is in “being swallowed by the whale,” but given a serious commitment by Shell to the term of this agreement, Mr. Armstrong is confident that within that time frame he can insure his concerns are well heard, adequately addressed and substantially, if not completely, remedied. Accordingly, Mr. Armstrong wishes to enter into this agreement with the expectation that Shell will listen to his advice while making decisions that are in the best interest of Shell, considerate of, but completely independent of his advice - if Shell so chooses. Having worked for Texaco, Inc. Mr. Armstrong is confident the right actions will be taken and Shell’s and Mr. Armstrong relationship in this matter will be addressed rationally and effectively by both parties in the interest of each not losing the control and management, to outside influences, of the environmental issues highlighted herein. Best Solution Mr. Armstrong and Shell have separately determined that it would not serve their individual interests to have the singular issue of environmental integrity, as it is effected by Shell’s recent purchase of Texaco and Shell’s desire to sell the ground, buildings and equipment of its service stations, possibly effected by a multitude of hidden agendas if this matter was managed by outside sources. By Shell contracting for the proposed services, Mr. Armstrong herein believes a “Win/Win” can be achieved and the issues addressed more effectively and, given the 15 years a plume has had to develop under Satish Chopra’s service stations and possibly other like stations, the issues actually remedied more quickly. Win/Win It is hereby proposed, in the interest of seeking the most cost effective, easiest, efficient and timely resolution to these issues that Shell and Robert Armstrong enter into this agreement. The pivotal question remains, do we cooperate for the best possible outcome? 3 CONSULTING AGREEMENT This agreement, made and entered into and effective as of the 25th day of April, 2006 (the "Effective Date"), by and among Robert Armstrong, DBA (“RA”), an individual, and Shell Oil Company/Shell Oil Products US, 1 Shell Plaza, 910 Louisiana St., Houston, TX 77002 (“Shell”), a Texas corporation, (collectively “The Parties”). RECITALS RA has a unique combination of education, intelligence and expertise from multiple disciplines and past experiences in the oil industry. Shell desires to retain RA to render consulting and advisory Services for Shell on the terms and conditions set forth in this agreement and RA desires to be retained by Shell on such terms and conditions. NOW, THEREFORE, Shell and RA agree as follows (“Agreement”): 1. Retention. Shell hereby retains RA for the term of this Agreement to perform the consulting services set forth herein for Shell (“Services”). 2. Covenant. RA agrees to faithfully and diligently do and perform the acts and duties required in connection with his engagement hereunder, and not engage in any activity which is or likely is contrary to the welfare, interest or benefit of the business of Shell. 3. Services to be Performed. RA has already provided Shell with what should be an inexpensive and non- invasive means to quickly locate toxic materials concreted over or otherwise left under the concrete slab foundations of operational food mart and/or quick service restaurant gasoline service stations. Having worked for Texaco, Inc., RA will assist Shell in identifying, evaluating and remediating environmental problems Shell inherited from it purchase of Texaco Refining and Marketing, Inc. RA’s Services shall specifically address any toxic wastes left under building foundations when Texaco retailers converted their service stations from automotive repair garage bay service stations to food mart or quick service restaurants. It is anticipated the first station that has already been identified by RA as the former Texaco and now Shell food mart quick service restaurant service station located at 230 South Lincoln Avenue, Corona, California, to be the first to be tested, evaluated and remediated for toxic wastes left under its foundation when it was converted by the Texaco, now Shell, retailer. The second location will likely be the Sixth Street Shell food mart and quick service restaurant service station owned by the same franchise retailer. These two service stations should provide the testing ground for developing an initial evaluation and remediation process. The bulk of the Services to be performed shall consist of assisting Shell in developing, evolving and refining the protocol for identifying, evaluating and remediating potentially affected former Texaco locations, and addressing the specific environmental concerns found at those locations. Additional Services from RA shall consist of making recommendations that benefit the profitability of Shell or reduce Shell’s liability. RA shall make those recommendations at will and as soon as they become known and can potentially benefit Shell’s business. Some of those recommendations RA has already prepared and shall deliver to Shell upon the execution of this Agreement. 4. Engagement. RA hereby agrees to provide Services for Shell as may be reasonably requested by the Board of Directors or a designated contact of Shell in connection with the identification and evaluation of potential environmental problems and issues of potential “bad faith” regarding Shell’s purchase of Texaco and Shell’s selling of land, buildings and equipment to its retailers. 5. Objective. RA agrees to perform such Services to the best of his ability and in a diligent and conscientious manner and to devote appropriate time, energies and skill to those duties called for hereunder during the term of this Agreement and in connection with the performance of such duties to act in a manner consistent with the primary objective of maximizing the profitability of Shell. RA agrees to devote such time as is reasonably required to fulfill his duties hereunder as governed by Section 7. 1 Initialed _______ _______ 6. Independent Contractor. In rendering Services hereunder, RA shall be acting as an independent contractor and not as an employee or agent of Shell. As independent contractors, neither RA nor Shell shall have any authority, express or implied, to commit or obligate the other in any manner whatsoever, except as specifically authorized from time to time in writing by an authorized representative of RA or Shell, as the case may be, which authorization may be general or specific. Shell's sole obligation shall be to pay to RA the amounts described in Section 12 of this Agreement, and RA is not and shall not be deemed an employee of Shell for any purpose. Additionally, nothing contained in this Agreement shall be construed or applied to create a partnership. 7. Scope. Shell acknowledges RA has other clients, projects, businesses and business activities, both nationally and internationally, and is not present in the United States for a substantial period of time each year and, accordingly, that RA cannot at all times be available at Shell’s request. However, RA agrees to give Shell his best efforts to accommodate Shell’s needs contingent upon the other demands of RA’s activities. At no time shall RA be required to provide more than twenty hours of Service per month, though RA at his sole discretion and times of his choosing, may work more, with the Services to be limited to within the Greater Los Angeles Metropolitan Area. In the interest of RA’s best efforts, RA agrees to give Shell all national and international contact phone numbers, email addresses, fax numbers and so forth and remain in contact with Shell in order to address any requests or needs on behalf of Shell. RA shall make his “best efforts,” within the realm of his expertise, to provide Shell with quality Services. Shell agrees to not expect or request Services beyond the realm of RA’s expertise. In any event, no warranty or guarantee, express or implied, is made in regard to the quality or suitability of those Services. It shall be Shell’s sole responsibility to assess the suitability of any Services rendered. Shell assumes sole liability for the application of Services accordingly. 8. Confidentiality. Confidential information of any nature that either party acquires regarding any aspect of the other party’s business shall be treated in strict confidence. Information so obtained shall not be divulged, furnished or made accessible to third parties without the written permission of the other party to this Agreement. Both parties retain the right to do business with third parties in matters that may be competitive with the interests of the other party to this Agreement. However, the confidentiality constraints above shall be binding and have precedence over these business matters. Upon termination of this Agreement, the terms of this section shall remain in effect for perpetuity or as limited by governing statute, which ever is longer, if and only if the terms of Section 14 are fully met. If the terms of Section 14 are not met, the terms of this section (8) shall only remain in effect up and until the date of termination as specified in Section 14 with no perpetuity. RA agrees that if any confidential information is requested by subpoena or court, governmental or regulatory order, he will notify Shell as soon as practicable and if requested by Shell, he will undertake his best efforts to assist Shell in obtaining a confidentiality order from the court or governmental or regulatory agency requesting such information. 9. Respect. RA agrees that he will refrain from making any statements about Shell or its senior executives which would disparage, or reflect unfavorably upon the image or reputation of Shell or any such senior executives; and Shell agrees to refrain from making any statements about RA which would disparage, or reflect unfavorably upon the image or reputation of RA or The Armstrong Group. 10. Term. The engagement of RA hereunder by Shell shall commence as of the date hereof and shall continue through December 31, 2010, unless earlier terminated pursuant to Section 14 hereof and can be extended for any additional amount of time by the mutual consent, negotiation and agreement between Shell and RA. 11. Compensation. For Services hereunder, and because it limits RA’s ability to take on other work for the prescribed term, Shell shall pay to RA a fixed earned fee of $300,000 (the “Consulting Fee”), payable in five $60,000 (sixty thousand dollar) yearly payments over the term of this Agreement, without interest. Payments shall be drawn in consecutive years and due on or before Jan 15th of each year. The first payment of $60,000 shall be due and payable immediately upon the execution of this Agreement, without any pro-ration or 2 Initialed _______ _______ reduction. The 2nd payment will be due on January 15, 2007, the 3rd on January 15, 2008, the 4th on January 15, 2009 and the fifth payment on or before January 15, 2010. 12 Obligation. The Consulting Fee for RA’s Services shall be considered “earned’ at the time of the execution of this agreement. In any event, earned or not, whether Shell chooses to use all or any Services is at the sole discretion of Shell. As a condition of Shell’s freedom to pick or choose what Services, if any, Shell uses shall not effect, in any way, Shell’s obligation to pay for the provision of those Services. 13. Expenses. Shell shall pay or reimburse RA for all expenses reasonably incurred by him in furtherance of his duties hereunder including, without limitation, expenses for traveling, meals, hotel accommodations, telephone charges and the like, provided however, such expenses (other than for telephone charges for calls to Shell executives and advisors) shall have been authorized by Shell prior to the date on which they are incurred by RA, which authorization may be withheld by Shell in its sole discretion. Shell shall be under no obligation to pay or reimburse any expense of RA which has not been authorized by Shell in accordance with the terms of this Section. Shell will make reimbursement for authorized expenses within fourteen days of presentation by RA from time to time of appropriate documentation evidencing such expenditures. 14. Termination. The Parties shall have the right to terminate this Agreement at any time as follows: (a) 30 days after written notice of termination is given by either party at any time after the effective date of this Agreement, provided however, that if Shell shall terminate this Agreement pursuant to this Section for any reason, Shell shall pay to RA in one lump sum an amount equal to that portion of the fixed earned Consulting Fee which has not been paid to RA as of the effective date of such termination. (b) On such date as is mutually agreed by the parties in writing. (c) Upon expiration of the Term as set forth in Section 10. In any event, the full Consulting Fee, shall be due and payable immediately upon Shell’s termination, regardless of the amount of Services, if any, Shell used prior to cancellation and regardless of any and all remaining time in the term of this Agreement. The Consulting Fee is earned by RA at the time of execution. Accordingly, the aggregate Consulting Fee shall not be in any way reduced or effected by either time or Shell’s termination. If RA terminates this Agreement, RA shall be entitled to any and all lump sum payments due per Section 11 prior to the date of RA’s termination without pro-ration of any kind, but with no future payments due RA thereafter. 15. Indemnification. Shell agrees to indemnify, defend and hold harmless RA against any and all loss, liability, expenses and costs (including attorneys’ fees, judgments, fines and amounts paid in settlement) actually and reasonably incurred by RA in connection with any threatened, pending, completed or future action suit or proceeding to which RA is, or is threatened to be, made a party arising from or related to Services that have been provided hereunder. The terms of this Section shall survive the termination of this Agreement. 16. Limitation of Remedies. The sole remedy for Shell’s dissatisfaction or any claim of deficiency of Services is to provide RA with the opportunity to correct any error or deficiency brought to RA’s attention by Shell. If no written notice highlighting any such error or deficiency is given to RA within thirty days of the receipt of any part of the Services, it shall be construed that that part of the Services was adequate and fully accepted by Shell and no other remedy, including this limitation of remedies shall be available to Shell from that time forward. 17. Disputes. Any action based on this Agreement, including disagreement, disputes regarding the terms and conditions, alleged breaches of contract, and remedies under contract, shall be governed by the laws of the State of California and shall be adjudicated exclusively by a court of competent jurisdiction in the county of San Bernardino without giving effect to the principles thereof relating to the conflict of laws. The Parties irrevocably submit to this jurisdiction for the purposes of all legal proceedings arising out of or relating to this Agreement or the transactions contemplated thereby, and agree that all such suits, actions or proceedings brought by either party will be brought in such courts. The Parties also irrevocably waive, to the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, any objection which they may now have or hereafter may have to the venue of such proceeding brought in such a court and any claim that any such proceeding brought in such a court has been brought in an inconvenient forum. 3 Initialed _______ _______ 18. Release. On all matters prior to the execution of this Agreement RA and Shell mutually release each other from any and all liability for any actions they respectfully took or failed to take prior to the execution date of this agreement, subject to the sole condition that Shell fulfills its responsibilities under Section 11 or Section 14. Given that proviso, RA and Shell are aware that they may hereafter discover claims or facts in addition to or different from those they now know or believe to be true with respect to the matters related herein. Nevertheless, and except as herein provided, it is their intention to fully, finally and forever settle and release all claims relative thereto which do now exist, or heretofore have existed between RA and Shell. In furtherance of such intention, the releases given herein shall be and remain in effect as full and complete releases of all such matters, notwithstanding the discovery of existence of any additional or different claims or facts relative thereto. Further, either party agrees not to initiate, or cause to be initiated against the other, its affiliates, subsidiaries and the shareholders, directors, officers and employees, any compliance review, suit, action, appeal, investigation or proceeding of any kind, or participate in same, individually or as a representative or member of a class, unless compelled by law, under any contract (express or implied), tort, law, or regulation (federal, state or local), pertaining in any way whatsoever to the matters herein released, nor shall he be entitled to receive any payment from any such proceeding. RA and Shell each specifically waive the benefit of the provisions of Section 1542 of the Civil Code of the State of California, as follows: "A general release does not extend to claims which the creditor does not know or suspect to exist in his favor at the time of executing the release, which if known by him must have materially affected his settlement with the debtor." 19. Construction. While the parties hereto believe that the terms hereof are fair, reasonable and enforceable in all respects, it is agreed that any provision of this Agreement which is held to be prohibited or unenforceable in any jurisdiction shall, as to such jurisdiction, be ineffective to the extent of such prohibition or unenforceability without invalidating the remaining provisions hereof, and any such prohibition or unenforceability in any jurisdiction shall not invalidate or render unenforceable such provision in any other jurisdiction. 20. Drafting. Each party has cooperated in the drafting and preparation of this Agreement. Hence, in any construction to be made of this Agreement, the same shall not be construed against any party. Each party to this Agreement has made such investigation of the facts pertaining to this Agreement and of all the matters pertaining thereto as it deems necessary. 21. Execution. Each party executing this Agreement, or in the case of Shell, a responsible officer thereof, has read this Agreement and understands the contents hereof. The officer executing this Agreement on behalf of Shell is empowered to do so and thereby binds Shell. 22. Intellectual Property. Any intellectual property owned by either Shell or RA or others shall remain the property of its respective owner. 23. Miscellaneous: (a) Entirety. This Agreement constitutes the entire Agreement between the parties with respect to the subject matter hereof. This Agreement supersedes any and all prior Agreements, oral or written, between the parties with respect to the subject matter hereof. (b) Severability. If any provision of this Agreement is for any reason declared to be invalid or unenforceable, the validity and enforceability of the remaining provisions shall not be affected thereby. Such invalid or unenforceable provision shall be deemed modified to the extent necessary to render it valid and enforceable, and if no modification shall render it valid and enforceable, this Agreement shall be construed as if not containing such provision and the rights and obligations of the parties shall be construed and enforced accordingly. (c) Modification. No amendment, waiver or termination or modification of this Agreement shall be binding unless it is in writing and signed by both RA and Shell and dated subsequent to the date hereof. Performance of work by RA and/or acceptance of payment by RA for work performed and/or work to be 4 Initialed _______ _______ performed for Shell beyond the scope of this Agreement does not constitute acceptance by RA of amendments or modifications to this Agreement nor shall they be binding. (d) Assignment. This Agreement and the rights and obligations of the parties hereunder shall not be assignable by either party without prior written consent of the other party. (e) Successors. This Agreement shall be binding upon and inure to the benefit of the parties hereto and their respective heirs, personal representatives and, to the extent permitted by subsection (d), successors and assigns of the parties hereto (whether resulting from any reorganization, consolidation or merger of either of the parties or any assignment to a business to which all or substantially all of the assets of either party are sold). (f) Headings. Headings are for convenience only and shall not effect any term or condition that may be located anywhere within this Agreement and each term of this Agreement is contractual and not merely a recital. (g) Enforcement. In the event that legal proceedings are initiated for the purpose of enforcing the terms of this Agreement, the prevailing party in any such proceeding shall be entitled to an award of reasonable attorneys' fees and costs incurred in bringing or defending such action. It is further agreed that the prevailing party shall be entitled to an award or reasonable attorneys' fees and costs incurred in collecting any judgment which results from any proceeding brought to enforce the terms of this Agreement. (h) Counterparts. May be executed in any number of counterparts, and by any party on separate counterparts, each of which as so executed and delivered shall be deemed an original but all of which together shall constitute one and the same instrument, and it shall not be necessary in making proof of this Agreement as to any party hereto to produce or account for more than one such counterpart executed and delivered by such party. (i) Notices. All notices required to be given under the terms of this Agreement or which any of the parties desires to give hereunder shall be in writing and personally delivered or sent by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, using the addresses above. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties hereto have executed this Agreement as of the date first above written. Signed: ________________________________________________ Signature/Title/Shell Oil Company/Shell Oil Products US ________________________________________________ Print/Title/Shell Oil Company/Shell Oil Products US Signed: ________________________________________________ Robert Armstrong, Individual, DBA The Armstrong Group 5 Initialed _______ _______ Robert Armstrong 16341 Chino-Corona Rd., Chino, CA 91710-2722 FAX (909) 597-1295 Phone (909) 597-0919 April 13, 2006 Sent Via FAX: 713-241-4044 Lynn Elsenhans, Pres./C.E.O. Shell Oil Company/Shell Oil Products US 1 Shell Plaza 910 Louisiana St. Houston, TX 77002 RE: April 19th Meeting Dear Ms. Elsenhans: I commend you on your latest response to my March 27, 2006 letter. Therefore, I accepted the offer to meet telephonically with David Sexton, Kathleen Gilmore and William Spurgeon (attached). Given the now appropriate attention to this matter, I am optimistic that we can reach a resolution to the issues between us. My friend and attorney who used to work for Texaco in Los Angeles suggested a “Win/Win” solution that should keep us from going down the “Lose/Lose” path we are headed for. His suggestion is that it would be better if we could find a way to cooperate rather than alienate each other. Accordingly, I respectfully suggest you pay close attention to the outcome of this meeting, as I believe it may set the course of what is to come for some manner of years on both are parts. The issue of one or two stations in one town was left behind us some time ago. Regards, Robert Armstrong Attachment: April 13, 2006 Meeting Acceptance Letter bcc/RA/pm Robert Armstrong 16341 Chino-Corona Rd., Chino, CA 91710-2722 FAX (909) 597-1295 Phone (909) 597-0919 March 27, 2006 Sent Via USPS & FAX: 713-241-4044 Lynn Elsenhans, Pres./C.E.O. Shell Oil Company/Shell Oil Products US 1 Shell Plaza 910 Louisiana St. Houston, TX 77002 RE: “Bad Faith” or Corporate Indifference? Dear Ms. Elsenhans: Your March 20, 2006 letter to me, via Kathleen Gilmore, was the 2nd non-responsive communication from your legal department in over six months. Accordingly, I have sent the attached to the appropriate parties. It represents further research and discovery as this matter advances. I sincerely believe, absent my efforts in this matter Shell would do nothing to clean up Chopra’s or any other contaminated Food Mart conversions that Shell is liable for under its purchase of Texaco. Accordingly, if it wasn’t clear enough in my last letter to you I’ll kindly state it again: Please contact me within the next ten days and let me know how Shell is going to remedy the environmental pollution at Satish Chopra’s Shell station(s) in the city of Corona, California. That Shell is “investigating and will take the appropriate action” is a canned non-response. Shell has had over six months to investigate this matter and decide on an action plan. What’s the plan? Please answer that question so everyone can take the appropriate actions. Public, Legal and Government Intervention The way this is proceeding, it won’t be long before the press, lawyers and government entities begin to flesh these issues out, on their own terms. With just a bit more time, research and discovery, publicly disseminated, I believe Shell will be facing much more than the simple bad faith of not cleaning up two retail stations in one town. Therefore, I believe we are close to a “tipping point,” where anyone’s ability to control this issue will be severely compromised. Accordingly, I suggest you not misuse any more time than the seven months Shell has wasted already and start addressing these issues in earnest. Because I believe I am the only one raising these points, you should begin that process with me. Regards, Robert Armstrong Attachment: March 21, 2006 City of Corona Letter, March 20, 2006 Governor Schwarzenegger Letter bcc/RA/pc Robert Armstrong 16341 Chino-Corona Rd., Chino, CA 91710-2722 FAX (909) 597-1295 Phone (909) 597-0919 March 20, 2006 Sent Via USPS & Fax: (916) 445-4633 Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger State Capitol Building Sacramento, CA 95814 RE: Suspected “Plume” at Lincoln Ave. Shell Dear Governor: This is a follow-up to my recent letter to you on March 12, 2006. Though that letter adequately explained the problem, there were some points it failed to address: • If property or other values are effected by publicity of this problem, the residential and business property owners could bring legal actions against Chopra, Shell, the City of Corona, Riverside County and the State of California, given their actions or inaction in this matter. • Any plume has had over a 15 year period to travel already. The sites need to be cleaned up now. The underground garage sumps are even older and were not designed to last forever and they leak within their life cycle anyway (see attached, Tallevast Plume ‘Moving Fast’, Bradenton Herald, 10/29/05). • If Satish Chopra committed the same malicious acts at his Sixth Street station, a “deep diving plume” may not be abated by the already existing pumping equipment nor captured by existing test wells at that site. • Existing test wells at the sites are inadequate to catch and assess a “deep diving plume” from an underground garage sump (Ibid). • If Shell is allowed to complete the sale of the Lincoln Shell Station to Satish Chopra that site will never be cleaned up. Given its prime location on a major freeway, the location will remain a gasoline service station indefinitely; and Satish Chopra has already shown he has no intention of abating hazardous wastes at this location. • The sites need to be cleaned up now by opening the slabs and removing the sumps, lifts, wastes and effected soil. • An assessment of the size of any plume needs to be made. • If after removing the underground garage sump, car hoists and hydraulic fluids and hazardous waste leakage is detected, an independent geologists would need to assess the size and shape of any plume. • An assessment needs to be done by Shell to see how many other former Texaco locations are similarly effected. • Some governmental agency needs to insure that Shell remedies all the environmental hazards at former Texaco retailer conversions, like Satish Chorpra’s. • Someone needs to look into the environmental consequences and reasons behind Shell’s clandestine mass divesture of all of its retail gasoline service stations.1 Given that most gasoline service stations currently operated in the State of California will be operated indefinitely (given that we are now at the end of the massive closures of the past few decades) it is essential that Shell Oil Company not be allowed to simply dump environmental problems on its retailers and further withdraw from its environmental responsibilities -- without ensuring that it has done everything possible to see that the sites are as clean as they can be and are required to be. Regards, /s/ Robert Armstrong Robert Armstrong Investment Banker/Ex-Texaco Marketing Representative Attachment: Tallevast Plume ‘Moving Fast’, Bradenton Herald, 10/29/05 bcc/RA/pc 1 In its offers to sell its service stations to its franchisees, Shell makes its retailers sign a “non-disclosure agreement” that they “cannot talk to anyone other than an accountant or an attorney.” The offer, non- disclosure and product purchase agreements are personally handed to the retailer at a real estate office (with no prior notice of what the meeting is for), in order to “start the clock” on only 10 days to accept or reject Shell’s offer. For Chopra, Shell used the long week-end of the 4th of July holiday to limit his ability to seek professional help on his buy-back deal. The way Shell is conducting the mass sell off of all its locations is heavy handed, reeks of bad faith and the wording of the non-disclosure and short acceptance period (along with lack of notice and using holidays to frustrate due diligence) is designed to circumvent transparency and hide Shell’s actions from public and/or government scrutiny. [Chopra claims Shell’s mass sell-off is Shell’s attempt to evade environmental responsibility and the resulting high fines and penalties. Knowing what I know about Texaco’s “Retailer Conversion Program” and the fact that the EPA had/has (as of 9/02/05) an investigation going against Shell, it would appear that Shell is actually knowingly and willfully dumping “undisclosed environmental liabilities” on its retailers as fast and as quietly as it can.] 2 Posted on Sat, Oct. 29, 2005 Tallevast Plume 'Moving Fast' DONNA WRIGHT Herald Staff Writer TALLEVAST - The Tallevast plume is almost to U.S. 301 east of the neighborhood and may have reached the Floridan aquifer, perhaps compromising public drinking water, warns an independent geologist who tested residents' private wells. Samplings from 35 drinking water and irrigation wells reveal a "deep diving plume" that has not been adequately defined, said Michael Graves of Environmental Sciences & Technologies in Lakeland. Tallevast residents selected Graves, a geologist with extensive experience in investigating underground pollution, to run independent tests on their wells to compare with data collected by Lockheed Martin Corp., the company responsible for cleaning up the pollution. Lockheed has repeatedly reassured residents that it has defined the plume, now known to measure more than 131 acres. The toxins underground, Lockheed insists, are too deep to be dangerous to the community But Graves' data paints a different, frightening picture of a fast-moving plume that may be exposing residents to significant health risks. And the plume is growing, Graves warned. Graves attributes the plume's movement to changes in pressure. When Tallevast residents were connected to county water in the summer of 2004 they were told to stop using their contaminated wells. The drop in pressure caused the plume to shift, Graves said. Meanwhile, residents and businesses surrounding Tallevast that still pump water through private wells are drawing the plume toward their properties, Graves said. Graves presented his results to Tallevast leaders, their attorneys, state and county health officials and representatives of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection at a meeting held Friday at Mount Tabor Missionary Baptist Church. Lockheed did not attend because officials did not receive their invitations until late Thursday night, said Gail Rymer, director of communications. Rymer declined comment, saying she could not discuss data she had not yet seen. As the owner of the former Loral American Beryllium Co. plant, 1600 Tallevast Road E., when the leak from an underground sump was discovered, Lockheed has assumed full responsibility. Although Lockheed reported the toxic spill to the county and DEP, almost four years would pass before residents would learn of the pollution under their homes. Graves' data raises serious questions about Lockheed's data and conclusions, said Tim Varney, a scientist with Chastain Skillman and Tallevast's technical consultant. Varney described Lockheed's monitoring wells as state of the art, but he said the sampling methods used were not adequate to define the plume. Some of Lockheed's monitoring wells were sampled too early after they were drilled, Varney said. In some cases, the wells were not sampled deep enough to tell how far down the contaminants may have sank. "This data raises serious questions on whether the plume has been fully characterized, both vertically and horizontally," said Varney. "And Graves' data puts an exclamation point after those statements, especially in regard to the well on Heidi Booth's property." Booth is a Tallevast cattlewoman who refused to let Lockheed Martin Corp. cut a path through her pine forest to drill a monitoring well. But Booth did offer Lockheed permission to test her own 500- foot well used to water her cattle. Lockheed declined, Booth said. Graves did run tests on Booth's well. He found contamination that may have compromised the Floridan aquifer, but Graves won't know for sure until he has more data on the well's construction. Located just west of the Tallevast Post Office near U.S. 301, Booth's well was drilled two years ago. While Graves determined the hole for the well is 500 feet deep, he does not know how far the casing of the well extends down the sides. Graves found high levels of 1,4-Dioxane almost 20 times the allowable standard at the bottom of the 500-foot hole. If the casing goes all of the way down to the bottom, that means the contamination is at that level and has entered the Floridan aquifer, Graves said. But if the casing stops somewhere above the bottom, the contaminates could have leaked through the soil from above, he added. Either way, Varney said, finding 1,4-Dioxane on Booth's property means the solvent has spread far from its source at the former beryllium plant. That finding is significant, said Graves, because 1,4-Dioxane is very soluble and moves quickly through groundwater, making its presence an indicator of the leading edge of the plume. But Booth's property is not drawn inside Lockheed Martin's current composite plume map, which the defense giant said marks the edge of the plume. Varney said Graves' test data on Booth's well challenges Lockheed's cleanup plans, which currently call for removing solvents in the groundwater beneath industrial site primarily through a pump-and- treat method. "It would be very hard to remediate a plume extending all of the way to 301 by a pump-and-treat method," said Varney. "You could not pump and treat from just one location to remediate a plume this size." Varney said remediation of the plume would require a distribution of treatment areas throughout the Tallevast community. Lockheed maintains that it is not necessary to remediate the groundwater contamination in the residential areas because the pollutants are too deep. Lockheed has proposed removing contaminated groundwater from only under the former beryllium plant. Limiting remediation to the the site of the old beryllium plant would mean Lockheed would only have to meet industrial cleanup standards, which are much lower than residential cleanup levels. Bill Kutash, DEP's point man on the Tallevast cleanup project, said he could not comment on remediation methods, but he did agreed that a larger plume is much harder to clean up than a smaller one. Tallevast leaders say Graves' data shows the toxins in their backyards present clear health risks and remediation must include the residential neighborhood. J.B. Harris, an attorney representing Tallevast residents, asked Varney if his data indicates residents have been exposed to higher risk levels than Lockheed has assumed. "We know 21 of the wells have levels of contaminants that exceed groundwater clean-up standards under the Safe Drinking Water Act," said Varney. "Some of those compounds are carcinogenic and some cause systemic health problems." Factoring those levels into computer programs to measure exposure risk over time would likely indicate significant excess risk, Varney said. DEP sampled and tested Tallevast's private wells one year ago. That well survey missed several wells in Tallevast. Graves also questioned how they tests were conducted. Past tests of private wells did not go far enough or deep enough, said J. Gregory Webb, another attorney representing residents. "Testing was very inadequate early on," said Webb. "One could say they chose methods to assess the plume that would minimize their results." Graves said more testing must be done before the true size of the plume is known. "They have spend a lot of money on the assessment process," Graves said, "but the more that is spent, the more we find out. This will take time." Graves said he was most surprised by the heavy concentration of 1,4-Dioxane south of Tallevast Road behind the old beryllium plant and east of a golf driving range near Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport. "It is moving fast," said Graves. "The plume is dynamic, and it is changing all of the time." Which is why, Graves added, his data and all of the other existing data must be combined into a dynamic three-dimensional model that will show not only the horizontal and vertical characteristics of the plume but also how groundwater is moving through the area known to be contaminated. Until that model is constructed, any plans for remediation would be premature, Varney said. Earlier this year, county staff urged Tallevast residents to have their private wells capped, but leaders of the advocacy group FOCUS - or Family Oriented Community United Strong - refused. FOCUS President Laura Ward told county leaders last winter that capping the wells before they could be independently tested would eliminate any opportunity to test DEP's prior well test data. Graves' findings, FOCUS leaders said, prove how important it was to keep the wells open. On Sept. 1, Tallevast residents filed a negligence lawsuit against Lockheed, claiming the plume has damaged their property values and caused emotional distress.1 1 There are several issues illustrated by this news article: 1) That test wells can be inadequate to catch a “deep diving plume” from a leaking underground sump. 2) That an unabated leaking underground sump can be a serious threat to the environment. 3) That there is legal liability from residential and business property owners surrounding Chopra’s service stations. 4) That Shell, like Lockheed, cannot be solely trusted to assess the risk and clean-up at Satish Chopra’s locations. 5) There may need to be a public airing of the problem with an independent investigation of the facts. Robert Armstrong 16341 Chino-Corona Rd., Chino, CA 91710-2722 FAX (909) 597-1295 Phone (909) 597-0919 March 12, 2006 Sent Via USPS & Fax: (916) 445-4633 Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger State Capitol Building Sacramento, CA 95814 RE: Shell Oil & California EPA Requirements Dear Governor: The attached is destined to become public at some time before your re-election. Your participation in seeing that this matter gets resolved to the benefit of the citizens of California is solicited accordingly. It would appear that Shell Oil Company is trying to circumvent EPA liability in California by clandestinely selling its service stations, in mass, to its retailers in an attempt to distance themselves from hazardous waste conditions like the ones at Satish Chopra’s two Shell stations in the City of Corona. If Shell cleans up Chopra’s stations, they tacitly admit that they have a problem created by Texaco, Inc.’s “Shab Hab Program.” If they don’t clean up Chopra’s locations, they are willfully attempting to defraud the State of California by not meeting their EPA requirements when they are fully aware of the toxic wastes left under those locations. The Shell station at Lincoln and the 91 freeway is of particular importance as it is close to a pure water aquifer that could already be contaminated by Mr. Chopra’s malicious and fraudulent acts. Accordingly, Shell is trying to sell that location to Chopra before it has to clean it up and before it is publicly disclosed that the toxic waste condition exists. If the hazardous waste is not cleaned up now, before Shell has a chance to sell it to Chopra, it never will be. This is a prime freeway location that will be operated as a gasoline station indefinitely and Chopra has already shown his intentions in regards to the environment. Given that there has already been 15 years of seepage towards the aquifer, immediate action is needed from your office to see that there is no further environmental damage at this location. This is not an IQ test. It needs to be cleaned up. The responsibility is clear and the parties responsible are fully known. Mr. Chopra nor Shell deny that the Lincoln Shell location has contamination problems that Mr. Chopra created. So in the interest of your constituency and your re-election efforts, please get those locations cleaned up as they should have been when Mr. Chopra converted his garages to quick service restaurants and convenience stores. After which, your office is advised to investigate what Shell is up to in its efforts to sell its stations in mass in an attempt to avoid EPA liability as represented by Mr. Chopra. Regards, /s/ Robert Armstrong Robert Armstrong Investment Banker/Ex-Texaco Marketing Representative Attached: Letters to Riverside County and the City of Corona bcc/RA/pc Robert Armstrong 16341 Chino-Corona Rd., Chino, CA 91710-2722 FAX (909) 597-1295 Phone (909) 597-0919 March 12, 2006 John F. Tavaglione, County Supervisor Sent Via Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Riverside County County Administrative Center 4080 Lemon Street - 5th Floor Riverside, California 92501 RE: Attached Letter Dear Mr. Tavaglione: In that the City of Corona is in your district, I am sending you the attached. Your help and assistance in cleaning up the environmental hazardous wastes in Corona is solicited accordingly. I trust you realize the urgency in this issue. The toxic wastes at Lincoln Ave. and the 91 freeway have been mixing with the recent rains and elevated ground water levels, which greatly increases the ability of the plume to grow without any abatement measures in place. Add that to the 15 years this plume has had a chance to seep closer to the aquifer and you have a situation that needs everyone’s immediate attention. There is no excuse to not get this cleaned up. So why not do it as soon as possible and limit the risk to the reputations of the City and County leaders responsible for the interests of their constituencies? Most importantly, why not limit the risk to the water needs of those in your community, including yourself? I anticipate this becoming very public very soon. Why not take the high road and enforce the environmental regulations that were breached and see that Mr. Chopra and Shell Oil Company clean up their mess? If I can be of any further assistance, please do not hesitate to ask. Regards, /s/ Robert Armstrong Robert Armstrong Investment Banker/Ex-Texaco Marketing Representative Attachment: March 11, 2006 Letter to the City of Corona bcc/RA/pc Robert Armstrong 16341 Chino-Corona Rd., Chino, CA 91710-2722 FAX (909) 597-1295 Phone (909) 597-0919 March 11, 2006 Karen Spielgel, Mayor Sent Via USPS & Email: KSpiegel@ci.corona.ca.us CITY OF CORONA 815 West Sixth Street Corona, California 92882-3238 RE: Criminal Assault Against the Environment & Fraud Dear Ms Spiegel: There is only one road to take regarding the attached – “The High Road.” Given your responsibility to take care of the interests of the City of Corona and its citizens, as a duly elected official, I and the citizens of the City of Corona, the County of Riverside and the State of California expect you to take all the necessary pro-active measures at your disposal to see that these two service station locations get cleaned up the way they should have been when the city failed to make the necessary inspections, required by the building permit the City of Corona issued. The failure of that permitting process has allowed toxic hazardous waste to go unabated for more than a 15 year period. Of a critical concern is the fact that the toxic waste at the Lincoln Shell location is very close to a city aquifer and has had a period of over 15 years to seep undetected towards that clean water supply. Issues: • Possible inclusion of the City of Corona, as a defendant, in a class action lawsuit • Negligent permitting and/or inspection process • Failure of a fiduciary responsibility to the residents of Corona in regards to safe drinking water • Tacit collusion in Texaco, Inc.’s “Shab Hab Program” to circumvent and cut corners on environmental regulations • Explicit collusion in a fraudulent act if the City of Corona fails to rectify the problem • If the aquifer becomes polluted after this notice, there are various legal, governmental and voter remedies • No monitoring system or study or plume investigation can guarantee that the aquifer will not become polluted. Only the waste removal, as it should have been done to begin with, can assure the citizens of your community, and California at large, that their drinking water will remain safe • Voter rejection of any official not interested in cleaning up the hazardous waste threatening a City aquifer and the safe drinking water of the residents and businesses of Corona I have no doubt you will investigate this matter in a timely manner and take any and all appropriate actions that will clean up the hazardous wastes that, by the laws of physics, hydraulics and mixture with rain and ground water, have to be seeping towards a City aquifer. However, absent the ability or desire of any of the interested parties in cleaning up this problem, I intend to send a mailing to residents of the City of Corona -- to allow the voters the opportunity to take the necessary actions to address the safe drinking water needs of those served by the aquifer next to the Lincoln Street Shell station -- and/or punish those that allowed for that aquifer’s pollution. Confidential. For the named recipient only. Not for Distribution or Publication. The only true and safe way to guarantee that this dose not turn into a nightmare for everyone is to require the responsible parties to clean up the pollution they willfully, fraudulently and criminally committed in the first place. That burden falls unequivocally to Satish Chopra and to Shell Oil Company as the purchaser of that liability from Texaco, Inc. Adding culpability on the part of Shell is the fact that they have had over six months to address this issue, and to my knowledge they have failed to do so in any manner that would effect the timely clean-up at these locations. Culpability on the part of Chopra is absolute. He maliciously committed the fraudulent act to begin with and willfully attempted to keep that fact hidden for over 15 years. I, with only one voice living in a different county, have no standing to force Chopra and Shell to clean up their criminal acts. You do. Accordingly, I suggest that the City of Corona contact Lynn Elsenhans, Pres./C.E.O. Shell Oil Company directly and immediately and ask her what Shell’s intentions are in protecting the drinking water and other interests of the citizens of Corona. Lynn Elsenhans, Pres./C.E.O. FAX: 713-241-4044 Shell Oil Company/Shell Oil Products US 1 Shell Plaza 910 Louisiana St. Houston, TX 77002 If Shell’s interest is only one of legal stonewalling, it would be a moral and ethical failure of Lynn Elsenhans’ and Shell’s stated promise to protect the environment and be an outstanding citizen of the planet and world community, especially the community of Corona. As for Satish Chopra, he committed an environmental crime in a fraudulent act against the City of Corona that trusted him to clean up his site as he was required to do. In any action you can bring against him, discovery is easy. The deteriorating lifts, with hydraulic fluid, are readily detectable with ground radar. The other toxic wastes will be discovered when the concrete slab is opened. Offer the contractor who did the rebuild immunity. He knows what is under the slab. I guarantee this issue will escalate until its eventual resolution. This letter is notice to you of the problem. It creates a duty to act according to your responsibilities in this matter. I suggest the “High Road” of cleaning-up what needed to be cleaned up at the beginning and maliciously wasn’t. Living in a very public and free society, I have no doubt this issue will be rightfully resolved through its continued exposure and that you will be judged by your action, or inaction, in the aftermath accordingly. As elected officials and protector of the community’s interests, this matter should concern you greatly. This letter is not only notice to you, but a solicitation of that great concern. Accordingly, I and your constituents thank you in advance for your prompt attention to this issue. Regards, /s/ Robert Armstrong Robert Armstrong Investment Banker/Ex-Texaco Marketing Representative Attachment: Letters to Shell Oil Company bcc/RA/pc Confidential. For the named recipient only. Not for Distribution or Publication. 2 Robert Armstrong 16341 Chino-Corona Rd., Chino, CA 91710 FAX (909) 597-1295 Phone (909) 597-0919 March 10, 2006 Lynn Elsenhans, Pres./C.E.O. FAX: 713-241-4044 & USPS 1ST CLASS MAIL Shell Oil Company/Shell Oil Products US 1 Shell Plaza 910 Louisiana St. Houston, TX 77002 RE: Follow-up to My 9/2/05 Letter Dear Ms. Elsenhans: It has been over six months now and all I have received is one non-responsive letter from your legal department. Accordingly, it does not appear that Shell is taking this matter seriously. Please contact me within the next ten days and let me know how Shell is going to remedy the environmental pollution at Satish Chopra’s Shell station(s) in the city of Corona, California. Absent that, I intend to send a letter to Shell retailers concerning not only the issue of “Shab- Habs” under Texaco, but also another environmental issue being investigated by the E.P.A. that Shell is willfully attempting to evade by selling its ground and equipment to its retailers without making full disclosure(s). I trust you realize where this is headed. If research and solicitation for a class action lawsuit gets under way, it is not easily stoppable. Please address my concerns accordingly. Regards, Robert Armstrong Attachment: 9/19/05 Andrew S. Morrison, Esq. Response cc: Harris Steinberg, Levine, Steinberg, Miller and Huver1 bcc/RA/pc 1 $5.2 million settlement; Eastridge v. Shell; Case #398862; Orange County Superior Court; 1/23/85 Gray Law Offices Harvard Square FAX COVER SHEET FAX NUMBER TRANSMITTED TO: 713.241.4044 To: Lynn Elsenhans, Pres./C.E.O. Of: Shell Oil Company/Shell Oil Products US Matter: EPA Violations California Date: September 7, 2005 DOCUMENTS NUMBER OF PAGES* Letter & 2 Attachments 15 COMMENTS: As a matter of background, I worked for Texaco, Inc., White Plains, New York. I was responsible for instituting the 1st “salary operated” service station Foodmart in the history of Texaco. This came after the Getty purchase. It was at 2nd and Oakdale in San Diego. My attorney, William Halls, per the attached, helped me get Texaco their 1st alcohol license. He was a corporate attorney for Texaco Refining and Marketing, Inc., Los Angeles. The attached should be fairly self-explanatory. However, feel free to contact me if you need further assistance. I trust you will handle this matter with the appropriate seriousness and urgency. If you wish to not have this matter enter the legal arena, please contact Larry Jacobs and see that any escrow over 230 S. Lincoln Ave., Corona, CA is stopped immediately and that no other escrow opened until the facts of this issue are discovered and addressed. If you can remedy the EPA violations at Chopra’s locations, hold him accountable to the terms of his franchise agreements and send him the bill, I would have no cause of action against Shell. If not, it is pretty clear where this matter leads. Robert Armstrong The information contained in this facsimile message is information protected by attorney-client and/or the attorney/work product privilege. It is intended only for the use of the individual named above and the privileges are not waived by virtue of this having been sent by facsimile. If the person actually receiving this facsimile or any other reader of the facsimile is not the named recipient or the employee or agent responsible to deliver it to the named recipient, any use, dissemination, distribution, or copying of the communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please immediately notify us by telephone and return the original message to us at the above address via U.S. Postal Service. *NOT COUNTING COVER SHEET. IF YOU DO NOT RECEIVE ALL PAGES, PLEASE TELEPHONE US IMMEDIATELY AT: (deleted) Robert Armstrong September 2, 2005 Lynn Elsenhans, Pres./C.E.O. Fax: 713-241-4044 & USPS 1ST CLASS MAIL Shell Oil Company/Shell Oil Products US 1 Shell Plaza 910 Louisiana St. Houston, TX 77002 RE: EPA Violations California Dear Mr. Elsenhans: I have a matter to bring to your attention that if you don’t deal with immediately could cause irreparable harm to Shell’s reputation. I think it is incumbent upon you as a leader of environmental preservation to personally see this issue to its conclusion without undue outside influence and intrusion. It has come to my attention, given my recent dealings with a Shell retailer (formally Texaco), that Shell has instituted a mass divestiture program of Shell locations in California, and perhaps the U.S., in order to “ shift EPA liability from Shell to its retailers.” As a former Texaco employee, I am informed and believe a key EPA liability issue Shell is attempting to “hide” is the result of retailer instituted conversions from garage service stations to convenience store foodmarts and quick service restaurants that were allowed and encouraged under Texaco’s watch. From my personal experience working with Texaco, most if not all of those conversions were done with a primary goal of circumventing EPA requirements to clean up and properly dispose of the toxic hazardous waste from the sump drains, other onsite hazardous materials and hydraulic lifts and hydraulic fluids at those locations. I am an ex-Texaco Marketing Representative that was in an executive training program with Texaco, Inc., White Plains, New York. I, along with my attorney Bill Halls who is a former corporate attorney for Texaco, got Texaco the 1st alcohol license in the history of the company. Moreover, I flew to Tulsa, Okalahoma, after the Getty purchase by Texaco to evaluate the PetroMan salary operated foodmarts. From that visit, I started the 1st ever company-operated foodmart for Texaco at 2nd and Oakdale in San Diego, California. In Texaco Marketing and Refining, we routinely called these retailer conversions, “Shab Habs.” Texaco allowed “Shab Habs” as a means to circumvent as many local and state regulations as possible, especially any EPA requirements. There are now hundreds of these former Texaco and now Shell locations throughout California and the rest of the U.S. The Shell retailer, Satish Chopra, that brought this to my attention, has two. Mr. Chopra told me he left all the hazardous waste and car lifts in place and simply concreted over them. It is my direct understanding that most, if not all, Texaco retailers did the same. Additionally, one of Mr. Chopra’s stations has already had a serious tank leak. That plume is being continuously pumped and recovered now. The hazardous wastes that Mr. Chopra says he left in place at his other station, he says “is very close to a water aquifer.” I am informed and believe Shell is well aware of the environmental problems with its Texaco purchase. More specifically, Mr. Chopra said Shell told him “the reason Shell is selling all its locations to its existing retailers is that when Shell gets an EPA violation Shell pays millions. When the retailer gets a violation, the retailer only pays thousands of dollars.” Having worked intimately with Texaco’s legal department, I allege Shell’s mechanism in California for the mass divestiture has “bad faith” written all over it. I also allege that Shell, at some high level of management, has knowledge of the EPA violations at the former Texaco “Shab Habs” and is divesting those locations without proper and required disclosure to the retailers that may not have committed the EPA crimes, but also to the EPA and the public at large. It amounts to an “intentional fraud” to the public and to the retailers that have no idea what is really under the foundation of their stations. I also believe this to be an egregious RICO violation on top of the obvious EPA violations of California EPA law and national EPA requirements. Necessary Disclaimer: Any claims or statements, herein, should only be considered as “allegations” until proven true through further investigation, trial of the facts or verification by other means. I know of two Texaco converted to Shell locations where the retailer says he intentionally not only failed to clean up the catch sumps and car hoists, but paid to have 55 gallon drums of toxic waste dumped illegally into the countryside. The 1st location is at 230 S. Lincoln Ave., Corona, California and the second is at 1610 W. 6th Street, Corona, California. Mr. Chopra and Shell, through its employee Larry Jacobs, are colluding to hide the EPA violations at Mr. Chopra’s locations. It is in Shell’s and this retailer’s direct interest to keep hidden the EPA violations at those locations in order to not disclose the problem Shell has not only with these two locations, but also the multitude of Texaco “shab habs” throughout the rest of California and the United States. In that Mr. Chopra reneged on his agreement to pay me based on the EPA violation he created at his Shell station and his acute interest of my not revealing that violation, I demand that your office investigate the facts of the alleged EPA violation. If you find the condition of the dirt as I have described it to be true, I demand that Shell stop showing any favoritism to this retailer and take the appropriate actions as stipulated by his franchise agreement. I made a contact at the Wall Street Journal some time ago when E-Trade through its PayMyBills.com subsidiary was bought out and failed to pay my bills. This caused the cancellation of every Visa and Master credit card I had and left me stranded in South East Asia. I made the mistake of negotiating with E-Trade and not contacting the WSJ timely enough for them to run the story. I mention this, as I am not making that mistake now. I am contacting them and a few local papers to allow them to follow Shell’s and this retailer’s acts. The interest is twofold: 1) To assess Shell’s dedication to environmental issues and correcting environmental wrongs they are liable for. 2) To tell the story of how some naturalized citizens get rich committing crimes and oil companies (such as Shell) not only turn a blind eye, but collude when it involves EPA issues that they could care less about from the onset. I assure you this issue will not just go away. I have enough experience to press this issue until it finds its proper home being reported or investigated by those interested in revealing the truth and keeping the playing field level, whether someone is born here and cares about the land the U.S. was founded upon or someone who comes here from abroad and shows a complete lack of concern. In case Shell thinks that discovery under concrete slabs is difficult in anyway, I suggest a company called Terra Geo Sciences at (951) 796-4667. They are local to Mr. Chopra’s stations. They have a portable radar unit that does underground testing and discovery. Lastly, I demand that Shell not transfer any Shell locations to Mr. Chopra until discovery of these allegations are made and any EPA violation cleaned up to EPA’s satisfaction. For the rest of the Texaco locations that have this same problem, I leave that to you and Ron Majewski at the EPA. You can reach him at (626) 583-6740. I am faxing him a copy of this letter with details on how to find the Texaco “Shab Habs” Shell now owns and is attempting to divest themselves of “in a bad faith effort to hide known EPA violations.” The taxpayers of California are entitled to the higher fines Shell can afford to pay in order to remedy the EPA violations recklessly allowed, if not even encouraged, by Texaco. Consider how the public, especially California, feels about oil companies right about now. If Mr. Chopra gets a pass from Shell to pollute the ground, with no repercussions what-so-ever, the public would be interested and I am sure the story told. Please keep me apprised of your actions in this matter. Time is of the essence if you wish to control the potential damage to Shell’s reputation for protecting the environment. The bad dirt is there and it is easily discoverable. You can start with Mr. Chopra’s two locations. Regards, Robert Armstrong Attachment: Armstrong vs Chopra Complaint, Shell Divestiture Offer bcc/RA/pc Necessary Disclaimer: Any claims or statements, herein, should only be considered as “allegations” until proven true through further investigation, trial of the facts or verification by other means.