FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 16, 2011
Texas Oil Company Sentenced to Pay $12 Million for Clean Air Act Violations and Obstruction Crimes in Louisiana
Sentence is the largest ever criminal fine in Louisiana for air pollution
WASHINGTON — Pelican Refining Company LLC, was sentenced to pay $12 million for felony violations of the Clean Air Act and to obstruction of justice charges in federal court in Lafayette, La. announced Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, and Ignacia S. Moreno, assistant attorney general of the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the Department of Justice.
“Facilities have a responsibility to protect their employees and local residents by following our nation’s environmental laws,” said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “Corporations that choose to cut corners and ignore these critical safeguards will face significant consequences.”
“This corporation operated without even the most basic requirements of an environmental compliance plan and endangered the public and its own employees by implementing unsafe practices in violation of its permit and reporting requirements,” said Ignacia S. Moreno, assistant attorney general for the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the Department of Justice. “Today’s plea demonstrates that the Justice Department will continue to vigorously prosecute those who violate environmental and workplace safety laws.”
Pelican was sentenced to pay a $12 million penalty, which includes a $10 million criminal fine and $2 million in community service payments that will go toward various environmental projects in Louisiana, including air pollution monitoring. The criminal fine is the largest ever in Louisiana for violations of the Clean Air Act. Pelican is also prohibited from future operations unless it implements an environmental compliance plan, which includes independent quarterly audits by an outside firm and oversight by a court-appointed monitor.