- WEB EXCLUSIVE
- PE COFFEEHAUS
Valero Refining reached an agreement with the EPA and the Justice Department to resolve alleged violation of the Clean Water Act. This action stemmed from a spill of 3,400 barrels of oil into the Corpus Christi Ship Channel on June 1, 2006. The channel flows into the Gulf of Mexico and is heavily used by barge and commercial ship traffic.
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 located 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 above-ground storage tank from the edge of the Ship Channel in order to prevent future oil discharges.
Under the consent decree that was 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 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 on the Department of Justice Web site at www.usdoj.gov/enrd/Consent_Decrees.html.