San Francisco-based Chevron admitted no wrongdoing. The agreement was part of a consent decree issued Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.
Chevron also agreed not to reopen its marine terminal until it agrees with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on a plan to lower emissions. Until then, the company will load petroleum products from its refinery at a third-party terminal.
"This settlement sends a strong message that any company violating the Clean Air Act rules to reduce smog will pay a heavy price," said Lois Schiffer, assistant attorney general at the Justice Department.
A Chevron spokesman said the violation came after Chevron complied with a regulation enacted by California and the South Coast Air Quality Management District that allowed the company to use credits earned by taking older automobiles off the road to offset emissions at the El Segundo terminal.