Environmental Protection

Valero Refining-Texas to Resolve Oil Spill

Valero Refining-Texas, L.P. has agreed to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Water Act stemming from a spill of 3,400 barrels of oil into the Corpus Christi Ship Channel on June 1, 2006.

The Corpus Christi Ship Channel flows from Tule Lake into Corpus Christi Bay and then into the Gulf of Mexico.

Under the consent decree lodged in federal court in Corpus Christi, Valero will pay a $1.65 million civil penalty and perform a supplemental environmental project that will cost approximately $300,000. The project, as outlined in the agreement, will require Valero to design and construct a boat ramp that will aid emergency-response efforts in the vicinity of the oil spill.

The government's complaint, filed along with the consent decree, alleges that at least 3,400 barrels, or 142,800 gallons, of oil spilled from a containment berm on the edge of the Ship Channel at Valero's Corpus Christi Refinery-West Plant into the channel. Valero has since removed the containment berm and the associated aboveground storage tank.

The penalty will be deposited in the federal Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, which is used to pay for the federal cleanups of oil spills.

The consent decree, lodged in the Southern District of Texas, is subject to a 30-day public comment period and court review and approval. A copy of the consent decree is available at http://www.usdoj.gov/enrd/Consent_Decrees.html.

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