WASHINGTON — Delaware petroleum corporation CITGO faces a $13 million fine for its recent criminal misdemeanor violation of the Clean Water Act. The fine is the highest the U.S. Department of Justice (USDOJ) has ever issued for such a violation.
According to their recent press release, the USDOJ convicted CITGO “for negligently failing to maintain storm water tanks and failing to maintain adequate storm water storage capacity at its petroleum refinery in Sulphur, [Louisiana].”
The failure resulted in the release of 53,000 barrels of oil into the Indian Marais and Calcasieu rivers after a storm, impacting business on the waterways. The conviction came after a joint investigation by the EPA and the U.S. Coast Guard.
“We will not allow corporations or their employees to escape liability for failing to do their part in preventing harm to the environment. We fully intend to use all the tools at our disposal, including criminal prosecution, to punish those who pollute our air and water,” said Donald W. Washington, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Louisiana.
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Source: Market Watch