Exxon facing hefty fine for 2011 oil spill

March 26, 2013 at 5:59 AM

WASHINGTON, March 26 (UPI) -- Exxon Mobile's pipeline division may be fined $1.7 million for a 2011 oil spill in the Yellowstone River, the U.S. Department of Transportation said.

The department's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration announced it started an enforcement action against Exxon Mobil Pipeline Co. The PHMSA said it was proposing a $1.7 million fine in response to allegations the company didn't address the risks of river flooding, scour and erosion to its Silvertip pipeline system.

Exxon in October said it expected to pay more than $100 million in cleanup operations for the July 2011 rupture near Billings, Mont. An estimated 1,500 barrels of oil spilled from the Silvertip pipeline into the Yellowstone River in the incident.

Scouring of the pipeline, which was about 4 feet below the river bottom, is suspected of contributing to the rupture of Silvertip. The PHMSA also alleged that Exxon failed to establish written emergency response plans for its staff in the event of a spill.

Exxon has since bored holes under the river to bury the pipeline deeper beneath the surface. The company had no public comment on the PHMSA decision.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Related UPI Stories
Topics: Exxon Mobile
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
B-52 bombers demo long reach of U.S. air power
Army orders tactical trucks from Oshkosh
Reddit CEO Ellen Pao offers to improve communication in wake of firing scandal
Report: Brazil's Petrobras wading dark waters
Baker Hughes wins Johan Sverdrup contract