BP settles oil-spill response violation

Sept. 28, 2012 at 5:40 AM

HOUSTON, Sept. 28 (UPI) -- British energy company BP announced it reached a settlement with U.S. regulators for an oil spill response violation issued after a training drill in 2005.

BP agreed to a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Justice for violations stemming from a spill response training exercise conducted offshore Maryland in 2005.

BP took part in two spill response drills near Baltimore. The company said that a contractor didn't provide a boat for containment boom within the necessary timeframe during the drills. No actual spill occurred during the exercises.

BP said it agreed to pay a civil penalty of $210,000 and provide the EPA with the results of an independent audit of its oil spill response plans.

Steve Pankhurst, president of BP's pipelines division in North America, said his company has since replaced the unnamed contractor.

"Since 2010, BP has strengthened and shared industry best practices for oil spill response and we are assuring that these learnings are in place in our facilities globally," he said in a statement.

BP was accused of committing a series of safety violations during the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the worst offshore accidental release in the history of the industry.

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