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EPA, Unocal Settle Clean Water Act Violations Company reported its violations to EPA, agrees to pay $370,000 penalty

Release Date: 5/9/2003
Contact Information: Bill Dunbar
(206) 553-1203

May 9, 2003

The Seattle office of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced that it has agreed to settlement terms with the Union Oil Company of California or "Unocal" for violations of the Clean Water Act at 11 of the company's oil and gas drilling facilities in Cook Inlet in Alaska.

Unocal will pay $370,000 in penalties for Clean Water Act (CWA) violations over a five-year period. Each of the 11 Unocal facilities - nine off-shore and two on-shore - is permitted by the EPA to discharge certain amounts of pollutants such as oil, grease, and metals into Cook Inlet. These allowable limits were exceeded dozens of times over the five-year period.

Map of Cook Inlet AlaskaThrough monthly monitoring reports, Unocal had previously notified the EPA of its CWA violations, and the company remedied their causes. However, the EPA did not take this enforcement action until prompted by Unocal's most recent disclosure and summarization of its permits violations.

"We are pleased that Unocal stepped forward and accepted the consequences of its failure to protect the environment," said John Iani EPA's Regional Administrator in Seattle.

"Unocal has set an example which I hope is followed by others who are legally required to protect the environment in their operations."

The consent agreements reached by the EPA and Unocal are subject to a 40-day public comment period. The terms of the settlements could change as a result of the public comment.