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Louisana Man Convicted of Failing to Report Oil Spill and Making False Statements

Release Date: 06/27/2003
Contact Information:

John Millet 202-564-7842 /

(06/27/03) On June 13, in U.S. District Court in Baton Rouge, Murray C. Verret of Plaquemine, La., was convicted by a jury for violating the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act by failing to immediately report a spill of oil into Bayou Sorrel. The defendant was also convicted on two counts of providing false statements to the U. S. Coast Guard. Verret falsely told the Coast Guard that the oil had leaked from an unknown tank truck which had loaded oil into an unknown vessel that had used his dock. In addition, the defendant falsely denied that he had removed a diesel oil tank from his dock. Failing to report a discharge of oil into surface waters prevents clean-up activities which are designed to limit the ecological harm caused by oil spills to fish, wildlife and drinking water supplies. The case was investigated by the U.S. Coast Guard and the EPA Criminal Investigation Division. It is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Baton Rouge.