Oil Companies Holly Energy Partners-Operating and Osage Pipe Line Settle for $7.4 Million Over Major Crude Oil Spill in Oklahoma

Oil Companies Agree to Historic $7.4 Million Settlement Over Osage Pipeline Oil Spill

In a significant development, Holly Energy Partners-Operating L.P. and Osage Pipe Line Company LLC have reached a groundbreaking settlement with the Justice Department and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), agreeing to pay $7.4 million in Clean Water Act civil penalties.

The settlement arises from a pipeline rupture and crude oil spill that occurred on the Osage pipeline, affecting lands owned by members of the Sac and Fox Nation in Oklahoma.

Responsibility and Environmental Restoration: Civil Penalties and Corrective Measures

The agreement not only requires the payment of $7.4 million in Clean Water Act civil penalties but also mandates the comprehensive cleanup and remediation of the impacted area.

Holly Energy Partners-Operating and Osage Pipe Line Company are obligated to undertake corrective measures to mitigate the aftermath of the spill and implement preventive measures to avert future environmental hazards.

Legal Accountability: Violation of Clean Water Act Allegations

The United States filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma, asserting Clean Water Act violations against the Dallas-based companies.

The complaint contends that the crude oil spill, amounting to nearly 300,000 gallons, resulted from a pipeline rupture adjacent to Skull Creek on July 8, 2022. The affected lands are allotment lands owned by members of the Sac and Fox Nation.

Environmental Impact: Cleanup and Collaborative Oversight

The rupture severely contaminated Skull Creek, adversely affecting water quality and the aquatic environment.

The EPA, along with federal partners and the Sac and Fox Nation, responded to the incident, with ongoing cleanup efforts supervised by the EPA.

Tribal monitors deployed by the Sac and Fox Nation are actively overseeing the remediation, ensuring minimal impact on natural and cultural resources.

Holistic Remedial Measures: Beyond Civil Penalties

Apart from the $7.4 million in civil penalties, the proposed consent decree outlines additional obligations for the companies.

This includes an enhanced pipeline integrity management program, training for control room operators, and expanded spill notification efforts for Tribal governments within the pipeline’s footprint.

These measures, coupled with penalties, serve as a holistic approach to rectify the environmental damage caused.

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