Story at a glance

  • Citgo Petroleum Corp. has agreed to pay nearly $20 million for environmental damages caused by the 2006 oil spill in Louisiana, the Justice Department said Thursday.
  • The department said in a news release that the terms satisfy state and federal claims stemming from the 2.2-million-gallon oil spill at the Lake Charles refinery.
  • Citgo has already incurred around $97 million in fees and penalties, according to the Justice Department.

Citgo Petroleum Corp. has agreed to pay nearly $20 million for environmental damages caused by the 2006 oil spill in Louisiana, the Justice Department (DOJ) said Thursday. 

The department said in a news release that the terms satisfy state and federal claims stemming from the 2.2-million-gallon oil spill at the Lake Charles refinery. About $19.2 million will be designated to “design and perform restoration projects to compensate for the harms caused by the oil spill.” The remaining $528,000 would go toward “unpaid injury assessment costs.”

“Oil companies have a responsibility to protect our waters, people, wildlife and diverse habitats from oil spills, and those who violate that duty will be held accountable for the harms they cause,” said Jean E. Williams, acting assistant attorney general for the department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division.


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The June 2006 spill polluted roughly 150 miles of shoreline, killing birds, fish and other wildlife and negatively affecting a variety of natural habitats, according to the DOJ.

Citgo has already incurred around $97 million in fees and penalties, according to the DOJ. The company paid $81 million stemming from the Clean Water Act, a $13 million criminal penalty and a state penalty of $3 million to the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality for “the discharge and chronic violations of the company’s discharge permit.”

“While oil and gas producers are a major source of employment in Louisiana, they have a sacred obligation to protect our environment and use our resources wisely,” U.S. Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook for the Western District of Louisiana said in the release. “This settlement sends a clear signal that those who pollute our environment will be held accountable.”


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Published on Jun 17, 2021