Zoeller ends six-year oil spill case

Ashley Stinnett Aug. 21, 2009, 11:37am


INDIANAPOLIS (Legal Newsline) - Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller on Friday announced a proposed consent decree between the state and Mt. Vernon-based Countrymark Cooperative, LLP, after the company allegedly caused an oil spill six years ago.

Under the terms of the agreement, the oil refinery has agreed to pay costs the state and federal governments incurred for the spill itself, plus costs associated with removing a separate environmental hazard from the state park.

The company has also agreed to clean up abandoned oil-well equipment at a nearby state park, according to Zoeller.

Under the consent decree, Countrymark agreed to pay $15,651.94 to the U.S. Coast Guard's National Pollution Funds Center, $1,168.19 to the U.S. Department of the Interior and $5,979.99 for the Indiana Department of Environmental Management's cleanup costs.

The company also agreed to pay any future costs of hazardous cleanup.
The consent order is a result of a May 2003 incident in which an oil spill from one of Countrymark's pipelines polluted 300 acres of land surrounding the Wabash River in Griffin, according to Zoeller.

"Hoosiers should be pleased to know that this consent decree will restore some of the pristine beauty of Harmonie State Park along the Wabash River, while protecting against a future pollution incident and ensuring the company owns up to its legal responsibilities," Zoeller said.

Countrymark operates pipelines that transport oil to its Mount Vernon refinery.

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