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article imageExxonMobile to pay $1.4 million after 2012 pipeline spill

By Karen Graham     Aug 26, 2014 in Environment
The Department of Justice announced today that ExxonMobile Pipeline Company has agreed to pay a civil penalty for its alleged violation of the Clean Water Act stemming from a 2012 Northline crude oil spill in Louisiana.
Under the consent decree lodged in federal court today by the Department of Justice and the Environmental Protection Agency, ExxonMobile will pay $1,437,120 to resolve the government’s claim.
Under the government's claim which was filed today in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana, it is alleged that the oil company discharged 2,800 barrels, or 117,000 gallons of crude oil in violation of section 311 of the Clean Water Act.
On April 28, 2012, a 20/22-inch diameter pipeline belonging to ExxonMobile ruptured near Tolbert, about 20-miles west of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The pipeline originates in St. James, La., and provides shippers with crude oil from its huge Louisiana Offshore Oil Port, as well as crude from offshore pipelines, according to the company's website. The crude oil flowed into the surrounding area and an unnamed tributary of the Bayou Cholpe.
Sam Hirsch, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division said: “Oil spills into our nation’s waters endanger public health and the environment and warrant concerted enforcement efforts. Today’s settlement achieves a just result and furthers our enforcement mission.”
“All businesses have an obligation to protect their workers, the local community and the environment in which they operate,” said Cynthia Giles, Assistant Administrator for Enforcement and Compliance Assurance at EPA. “EPA is committed to protecting communities by enforcing laws that reduce pollution in local waterways.”
A Corrective Action Order from the United States Department of Transportation, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration was issued against ExxonMobile, and to date the company continues to work on completing cleanup in the area of the spill.
The $1.4 million penalty is in addition to the cost incurred by ExxonMobile in responding to the oil spill as well as replacing the ruptured section of the pipeline. The proposed consent decree lodged today in the Middle District of Louisiana is subject to a 30-day public comment period and court review and approval. A copy of the decree can be viewed on the Department of Justice's website by going to: www.justice.gov/enrd/Consent_Decrees.html .
More about exxonmobile, Louisiana, oil pipeline spill, Department of justice, Epa
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