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Kinder Morgan will pay U.S. EPA $26,300 to resolve violations at Truckee, Nev. facility

Release Date: 6/15/2005
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, 808-541-2711

SAN FRANCISCO – Kinder Morgan recently agreed to pay a $26,300 penalty as part of a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency resolve alleged federal Clean Water Act violations discovered at the company’s Sparks, Nev. facility last July.

The company has also agreed to purchase emergency response equipment for the Truckee, Calif. Fire Protection District. The equipment will allow emergency personnel to respond quickly to any spills of potentially hazardous chemicals that may occur on the area’s highways, rivers and streams. With the city located near three major transportation lines – Kinder Morgan pipeline, a Union Pacific railway and Interstate 80 – it needs to be prepared in the event of a spill of oil or hazardous substances.

“Through this settlement, Truckee’s capability to respond to emergencies will be greatly enhanced,” said Keith Takata, director of the EPA’s superfund program for the Pacific Southwest Region. “In addition, Kinder Morgan now understands the importance of properly exercising the required oil spill response drills and procedures.”

The EPA cited the company for failing to conduct at least 10 emergency notification drills – required quarterly – over the past five years. Kinder Morgan also failed to conduct two annual oil spill response drills requiring the use of emergency equipment.

The facility, which is located about one mile from the Truckee River, has a storage capacity of more than one million gallons of oil. Kinder Morgan is the largest transporter of gasoline and petroleum products in the nation.

The EPA also emphasizes the importance of spill response training, noting that over the past two years several oil spills have occurred at Kinder Morgan’s facilities in Arizona and California. Last November, a pipeline near Baker, Calif. was shutdown after the discovery of a gasoline leak. Last April, more than 100,000 gallons of oil spilled into a marsh near Suisun, Calif. from a ruptured pipeline. In 2003, roughly 32,000 gallons of oil was released near Tucson, Ariz. from a corroded pipeline.

Kinder Morgan and its subsidiaries operate more than 25,000 miles of oil pipelines nationwide. The company transports more than two million barrels of gasoline and petroleum products per day.