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6/20/2024

WT Staff

CWA CrimeBox
Environmental Crimes Historic Conviction:  Fiscal Year 2001; Case ID# CR_1020(California)
Oily wastewater discharges net a $4 million dollar fine

June 20, 2024 944 am EDT

One of 72 Clean Water Act Criminal Prosecutions in the State of California (from 1989-2023)

The defendant in this case is a multi-national oil company with a refinery in Los Angeles. THe defendant directed employees to discharge industrial process wastewaters containing oil and grease above the levels allowed by the discharge permit. In March 1997, employees went ahead and discharged the non-compliant wastewater into Dominiquez Channel. In another instance, an employee directed contractors to discharge many thousands of gallons of oily wastewater down a storm drain, impacting Prefumo Creek and Pacific Ocean.

"The discharge of oil into surface waters can, in sufficient quantities, create a fire hazard and can harm fish and other aquatic life." EPA Criminal Investigation Division

The defendant plead guilty to two counts of violating the Clean Water Act. The federal district court judge sentenced the corporate defendant to a federal fine of $4 million dollars, assessed a special fee of $800. Restitution payments ordered to Los Angeles County Fire Department Haz-Mat, LA City Storm Water Management Division, San Luis Obispo Fire Department, Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board, Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board as expense recovery. A period of one year of probation was included in the sentencing.

Federal Fine: $4,000,000; Restitution: $26,000; Probation: 12 months; Special Assessment: $800

CWA CrimeBox briefs are compiled from EPA Criminal Enforcement records.








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