BP to pay US environmental penalty, ensures clean-up funding

29 November 2011 20:49  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Several subsidiaries of BP America have agreed to pay more than $400,000 (€300,000) in penalties and ensure more than $240m in funding for clean-up sites and hazardous waste facilities, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said on Tuesday.

The EPA said it had determined several BP subsidiaries failed to meet US financial assurance requirements between 2006 and 2010.

Since 2010, BP has obtained financial assurances covering $129.8m for hazardous waste facilities, and $19.2m to address closure, plugging and abandonment of underground injection control wells, the EPA said.

The hazardous waste facilities are in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Texas, Utah, California and Alaska. The underground injection wells are on the North Slope of Alaska.

BP also agreed to provide financial assurances of $98.9m in obligations for US Superfund environmental clean-up sites, the EPA said. The sites are in Utah, Nevada, Montana and California.

BP agreed to pay civil penalties for failing to earlier ensure financing for the hazardous waste facilities, Superfund sites and injection wells.

BP said it was “committed to meeting its environmental obligations and is pleased that the present matter could be resolved cooperatively”, adding, “At no point did BP fail to perform any environmental measures required by any applicable law, and EPA has not asserted any such failure”.

BP said it learned in 2010 that the State of California Department of Toxic Substances Control had questions about its financial guaranty.

“Upon learning of the state’s concerns, and to avoid any issue as to its compliance with applicable regulations, BP promptly took steps to replace the corporate guaranty with a letter of credit from an unrelated major financial institution, as allowed by the applicable regulations,” BP said.

“BP also informed EPA of this issue, and then replaced financial assurances at other facilities with letters of credit and insurance policies, again as allowed by the regulations.”

The EPA said it also worked with state agencies to obtain from BP a total of $76.4m in financial assurance to state environmental departments for locally regulated hazardous waste facilities and injection wells.

($1 = €0.75)

By: Brian Ford
+1 713 525 2653

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