U.S. pipeline company pays EPA fines

March 19, 2010 at 10:41 AM
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WASHINGTON, March 19 (UPI) -- Texas company NuStar Pipeline Operating Partnership agreed to pay $450,000 to settle claims it failed to plan for oil spills and environmental accidents.

The U.S. Department of Justice announced NuStar agreed to pay the civil penalty to settle allegations it failed to plan for spills and environmental accidents at oil storage terminals in Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska.

The Environmental Protection Agency in 2006 said it found response plan failures at several NuStar facilities. The company responded with prepared plans at each of the eight facilities following the EPA probe.

Ignacia Moreno, the assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's environmental resources division, said oil storage and pipeline companies must have proper response plans to meet terms of the Clean Water Act.

"The penalty imposed reflects the serious nature of non-compliance with these important requirements," said Moreno.

The eight storage facilities included in the EPA complaint contain more than 71 million gallons of oil combined, some of the largest accumulations in the United States.

NuStar agreed to spend another $768,000 to install volume monitoring systems at several storage sites.

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