Gas Firm Pleads Guilty To Releasing Pollutants in Ocean
A federal judge placed a California-based natural gas company on probation for five years and ordered it to pay a $450,000 criminal fine after it pleaded guilty to releasing pollutants along the Outer Continental Shelf.
Pacific Operators Offshore Inc. pleaded guilty to one count of violating the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, for using a faulty natural gas line that stretched along the ocean floor from the company's plant in La Conchita, Calif., to one of its ocean drilling platforms. Central District Judge J. Spencer Letts imposed the penalty.
Government inspectors in 1999 found that the gas line was broken and ordered Pacific Operators to fix it in 2000. Two years later, investigators found that the company was still using the unrepaired line and ordered it closed. But the company continued to use the line to secretly store excess natural gas from its facilities, according to court documents.
The Justice Department's environmental crimes unit filed a lawsuit against the company last February.
Please email us to report offensive comments.
Posted by: iosburn | September 30, 2008 11:31 AM