ConocoPhillips, Sasol agree to reimburse EPA for Louisiana cleanup

13 October 2010 21:30  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS)--ConocoPhillips and Sasol have agreed to reimburse the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for some $4.5m (€3.2m) in costs incurred in cleaning up the Calcasieu Estuary in southwest Louisiana, the agency said on Wednesday.

Under a consent decree lodged in a federal district court in Louisiana, the two companies also agreed to “complete a removal action” valued at about $10m to clean up Bayou Verdine within the Calcasieu Estuary, the EPA said without detailing what exactly this action would involve.

At the same time, the US Justice Department announced a settlement of claims for natural resource damages against ConocoPhillips and related to contamination in the estuary, the agency said.

“It is important that polluters help pay for clean-up,” said EPA regional administrator Al Armendariz. 

“Recovering more than $4.5m is another milestone in our on-going work to address historical pollution problems in this area of Louisiana,” he added.

The agency, in its statement, did not detail the nature of the contamination, merely saying that heavy industry dominated the southern reaches of Bayou Verdine, which was the recipient of industrial discharges.

Bayou Verdine is a waterway within the Calcasieu Estuary that flows into the Calcasieu River and is located southwest of the city of Westlake and south of the city of Mossville in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana.

Conoco operates a 239,000 bbl/day refinery in the area while Sasol has a chemicals complex there, according to the companies’ respective websites.

($1 = €0.72)

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By: Stefan Baumgarten
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