Judge: Oil Company Must Pay $525K For Polluting Louisiana Refuge

January 23, 2009

A federal magistrate in New Orleans ordered a Houston oil production company to pay $525,000 to various agencies for a brine spill that polluted the water of Delta National Wildlife Refuge near Venice, La.

Magistrate Judge Daniel Knowles also put Texas Petroleum Investment Co. on probation for two years. The company pleaded guilty in October to a misdemeanor violation of the Clean Water Act.

U.S. Attorney Jim Letten said the company was ordered to pay $425,000 to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; $25,000 each to Louisiana State Police and the Southern Environmental Enforcement Network Enforcement Training Fund, and a $50,000 fine.

Letten says water spilled over the top of a storage tank in March 2005 when a salt water injection well malfunctioned. It says TPIC has fixed the problem.

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