Magellan Pipeline Company has reached an $18-million agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) settling alleged violations of the Clean Water Act related to pipeline spills of gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel in Texas City, Texas; Nemaha, Nebraska; and El Dorado, Kansas.
Under the agreement, Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Magellan will spend $16 million on improving training for its staff and monitoring the integrity of its 11,000 miles of pipeline. A public transparency measure also requires the company to report information about certain types of pipeline releases and its responses to them. The other $2 million is a civil penalty for Clean Water Act violations.
“Fuel spills have real and lasting impacts on clean water for communities,” said Cynthia Giles, Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “Companies need to take the necessary precautions to make sure fuel is transported safely and responsibly. This settlement puts in place important pipeline safety and spill prevention measures that make this industry safer for communities.”
Federal prosecutors accused Magellan of spilling a total of 5,177 barrels of petroleum products that contaminated waterways in three states.
On Feb. 24, 2011, an 18-inch Magellan pipeline used for transporting refined petroleum products ruptured in an area north of Texas City, Texas, releasing about 482 barrels of gasoline. The spill contaminated Pierre Bayou, a local watercourse.
Another pipeline spill occurred on Dec. 10, 2011, when two pipelines used for refined petroleum products pipelines were struck by heavy machinery near the town of Nemaha, Nebraska. The strike resulted in the release of about 650 barrels of diesel fuel from one line, and approximately 655 barrels of jet fuel and 1,529 barrels of gasoline from the other.
The Nebraska spills contaminated Jarvis Creek, a local waterway, and the cleanup operations are still ongoing more than five years later. U.S officials are working with Magellan to complete the cleanup.
The third spill occurred on May 4, 2015, when a Magellan pipeline ruptured near the City of El Dorado, Kansas, and released about 1,861 barrels of diesel fuel that polluted a local creek.
Source: U.S. Department of Justice