A Houston, Texas-based oil company has pleaded guilty to negligently discharging oil from three facilities into Louisiana bayous in violation of the Clean Water Act (CW A). United States v. Cedyco, No. 12-167 (E.D. La. guilty plea 5/23/12). During a May 23, 2012, hearing, the company agreed to cease operations and divest itself of all hydrocarbon business interests in Louisiana and pay a $557,000 criminal fine. The fine will be paid to the U.S. Coast Guard’s Oil Spill Liability Fund.
Court records document that a May 2008 Coast Guard and Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality inspection of the defendant’s tank battery next to Bayou St. Denis found that the company stored oil in the tank battery without a required spill prevention plan and did not have a state operating permit as required by the CW A. The inspectors also found the tank battery to be in “extremely poor” condition with corroded pipes and spilled oil on the deck. Violations found at the company’s Bayou Dupont oil storage and production platform included operating without an oil spill prevention plan or operating permit as well as evidence of illegal discharges and spills that went into the bayou. See U.S. Department of Justice News Release, May 23, 2012.