DALLAS, TEXAS, Oct. 30, 2014 -- The Department of Justice and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have announced that Superior Crude Gathering Inc. (Superior) has agreed to pay a civil penalty for alleged violations of the Clean Water Act (CWA) stemming from a crude oil spill in 2010 from tanks at the company's oil storage facility in the town of Ingleside, Texas.
Under the consent decree, lodged in the Southern District of Texas, Superior will pay $1.61 million to resolve the government's claims. Further, the U.S. complaint, which was also filed in the U.S. District Court, alleges that Superior discharged at least 2,200 barrels (or 92,400 gallons) of crude oil in violation of Section 311 of the CWA.
The oil discharged from two tanks at the facility on Feb. 9 and 10, 2010, and crude oil flowed into an unnamed lake and wetlands near the Intracoastal Waterway and Redfish Bay. The complaint also includes related violations of the CWA's spill prevention, control and countermeasure regulations and spill response plan regulations.
The $1.61-million penalty is in addition to the costs incurred by Superior to respond to the oil spill and repair the tanks and containment areas. The company has ceased operations at the facility, which is located within the former Falcon Refinery. The proposed consent decree is subject to a 30-day public comment period and court review and approval.
The CWA makes it unlawful to discharge oil or hazardous substances into or upon navigable U.S. waters or adjoining shorelines in quantities that may be harmful to the environment or public health. The penalty paid for this spill will be deposited in the federal Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund managed by the National Pollution Fund Center. The Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund is used to pay for federal response activities and to compensate for damages when there is a discharge or substantial threat of discharge of oil or hazardous substances to waters of the United States or adjoining shorelines.