WASHINGTON — Under a settlement agreement with the U.S., ATP Infrastructure Partners LP (ATP-IP) will pay a $1 million civil penalty and perform corrective measures to resolve claims by the U.S. under the Clean Water Act (CWA) and the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) of unauthorized discharges of oil and chemicals from an oil platform into the Gulf of Mexico, according to a press release.
The Department of Justice, EPA and the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) made the announcement and this is the first joint judicial enforcement action involving EPA and BSEE claims in response to alleged violations of both the CWA and OCSLA, stated the release.
The release reported that the U.S.’s complaint, which was filed in February 2013 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, alleges that oil and an unauthorized chemical dispersant were discharged into the Gulf of Mexico from ATP-IP’s oil and gas production platform known as the ATP Innovator.
A BSEE inspection of the ATP Innovator in 2012 revealed alleged unlawful discharges of oil and a piping configuration that routed an unpermitted chemical dispersant into the facility’s wastewater discharge pipe, to mask excess oil being discharged into the ocean, noted the release.
“EPA and its federal partners are committed to ensuring that offshore energy production is done safely and responsibly,” said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “Discharging oil illegally can foul water, harm wildlife and is unfair to companies that follow the law. It is our obligation to protect local communities and companies playing by the rules.”
Read the entire release here.