ExxonMobil Pipeline settles charges from 2012 Louisiana spill

Exxon Pipeline Co. agreed to pay more than $1.4 million to resolve federal charges that a 2012 spill from the company’s North Line near Torbert, La., violated the Clean Water Act, the US Department of Justice and Environmental Protection Agency jointly announced.

DOJ and EPA said a federal complaint, which was filed with the proposed settlement on Aug. 26 in US District Court for Louisiana’s Middle District, charged that the ExxonMobil Corp. subsidiary broke section 311 of the law when the pipeline ruptured on Apr. 28, 2012, about 20 miles west of Baton Rouge.

At least 2,800 bbl of crude leaked into the surrounding area and flowed into an unnamed tributary connected to Bayou Cholpe, the two federal entities said.

ExxonMobil Pipeline’s fine was in addition to costs it incurred to respond to the incident and replace the segment of ruptured pipeline, DOJ and EPA said. It also is continuing cleanup work under a Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality administrative order, and follow-up work under a US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration corrective action order.

The fine will be deposited in the federal Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, DOJ and EPA said. The proposed consent decree is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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