Plantation Pipe Line to Pay Penalty for Spills in 3 States

Plantation Pipe Line Co. of Alpharetta, Ga., agreed to pay a civil penalty and implement safeguards to resolve a Clean Water Act lawsuit over fuel pipeline spills in three states, the Justice Department, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and state of North Carolina announced. The company agreed to pay a $725,000 penalty for discharges of jet fuel and gasoline in Virginia, Georgia, and North Carolina, and for inadequate spill prevention safeguards at a Virginia facility. The company also has agreed to implement $1.3 million in new spill prevention safeguards.

"Companies like Plantation Pipe Line that operate oil production infrastructure have a responsibility to ensure the safety and integrity of their operations," said Ronald J. Tenpas, assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's Environment and Natural Resources Division.

The lawsuit cited Plantation for four separate fuel spills from 2000 to 2006, totaling 1,005 barrels (or 42,210 gallons). The company also was cited for failing to prepare and implement a required spill prevention, control and countermeasure plan for a 420,000-gallon oil storage tank at its Newington, Va., facility.

The settlement requires Plantation to pay a $715,000 penalty to the federal government's Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund and $10,000 to the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources. In addition, the company will implement $1.3 million in spill prevention safeguards, including upgrades to pipelines and excavating buried valves to improve regular inspection capabilities.

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