Archive for Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Feds sue refinery over 2007 oil spill

September 27, 2011

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— The Justice Department has sued the Coffeyville refinery for more than $4.18 million in civil penalties and clean-up costs stemming from a 2007 oil spill into floodwaters of the Verdigris River, plus additional, unspecified fines for other environmental violations.

A civil complaint filed Friday in U.S. District Court also seeks a court order forcing Coffeyville Resources Refining & Marketing to comply with numerous environmental regulations designed to prevent additional spills or damage.

Company spokesman Steve Eames said Monday that the company is aware of the lawsuit but hasn’t yet seen it.

“We are working diligently to clean up any remaining issues,” Eames said, declining further comment.

About 2,145 barrels of oil leaked from the refinery into the river during flooding in July 2007, according to the complaint. The government is seeking up to $1,100 in civil penalties for each barrel spilled, a figure amounting to nearly $2.36 million.

Most of the spill involved crude oil that overflowed an above-ground storage tank. But some diesel oil leaked from another storage tank that was moved off its foundation by floodwaters. The refinery’s sewer system also flooded, discharging some oily water, according to the complaint.

Along with the civil penalties for each barrel spilled, the government is seeking reimbursement for $1.82 million spent to clean up the spill.

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