WASHINGTON, D.C. — Sunoco Pipeline LP has agreed to pay more than $5.4 million to settle three lawsuits pertaining to crude oil spills in Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma that allege violations of the Clean Water Act as well as state environmental laws.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Sunoco and Mid-Valley Pipeline Company violated state and federal environmental laws relating to the 2013, 2014 and 2015 oil spills caused by pipeline corrosion. The spills resulted in more than 5,000 barrels flowing into creeks and rivers in the affected states, the DOJ said.
“This settlement holds Sunoco and Mid-Valley accountable for the harms to the environment caused by their oil spills and requires Sunoco to improve its environmental safety compliance for the oil pipelines that it operates in Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma,” Environmental and Natural Resources Division assistant attorney general Jeffrey Bossert Clark said in a statement. “This excellent result shows how a strong federal and state partnership can bring about effective environmental enforcement to protect local communities in these states."
“Our nation relies on the oil and gas sector to meet our energy needs, and we also expect companies to do so while protecting our vital water resources,” added EPA regional administrator Ann Idsal. “Companies who violate this responsibility must face consequences and assure their future compliance.”
In addition to paying the civil penalties and state enforcement costs, Sunoco will also institute policies to correct the violations, according to the Justice Department.