Texas oil company agrees to fine for Wyoming spill
Written by Associated Press on March 25, 2021
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A Texas oil company has agreed to pay a $115,000 fine after spilling almost 20,000 gallons (73,000 liters) of wastewater and crude in western Wyoming, federal officials said Wednesday.
The 2018 spill by Merit Energy Company came after a pipeline broke at a battery of oil tanks northwest of Thermopolis, Wyoming, according to the settlement. Some of the spilled water and oil reached Grass Creek, a tributary of the Big Horn River.
An Environmental Protection Agency Investigation found that the Dallas-based company did not have an adequate emergency response plan in place as required under the federal Clean Water Act. The company has since submitted a new response plan and completed a cleanup of the site.
Cleanup costs were not available, EPA spokesperson Laura Jenkins said.
The fine is detailed in a proposed legal settlement that’s subject to a 30 day public comment period before it can become final.
Representatives of Merit did not immediately respond to a request of comment.