SEATTLE (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced a settlement with BP Exploration Alaska and Hilcorp Alaska after allegations they violated the Clean Water Act when spilling oil on Alaska’s North Slope.

Hilcorp Alaska will pay $100,000 in federal penalties, while BP will pay $100,000 in state penalties and $30,000 in federal penalties. BP’s federal penalty will be put toward the Oil Spill Prevention Liability Trust Fund.

In a statement, Ed Kowalski, director of EPA’s Office of Compliance and Enforcement in Seattle noted that petroleum developers, producers and transporters have a civic duty to protect the state of Alaska’s North Slope tundra.

“Alaska’s North Slope tundra is one of the Earth’s harshest, yet most delicate ecosystems,” Kowalski said. “Petroleum developers must do everything in their power -- year round -- to prevent spills and avoid releasing toxic chemicals to fragile wetlands or other important wildlife habitat. Our enforcement efforts are aimed squarely at protecting Alaska and Alaskans from the effects of spills and accidental releases.”

The Clean Water Act bars oil spills that could harm the health of people or the environment. It also mandates that companies put into place concrete measures to prevent future spills.

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