Oil company reaches $3.5M settlement over oil spill

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Mississippi will be receiving some money after a lawsuit was settled with the largest oil producer in the state.

Denbury Resources will pay federal and state regulators $3.5M in penalties with roughly $1.1M of that going toward the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality.

This stems from a lawsuit where the EPA and the MDEQ documented oil spills in nine oil fields in central and southern MS where the oil company dumped about 7,000 barrels of oil or mixes of oil and water.

As part of the settlement, Denbury has agreed to do more to prevent future spills.

“Protecting Alabama and Mississippi’s waters from oil pollution is crucial,” said EPA Acting Region 4 Administrator Mary S. Walker. “This enforcement action will help safeguard water resources, marine life and valuable wetlands from possible spills.”

Denbury is the owner and operator of onshore oil production facilities located in the Gulf Coast and Rocky Mountain regions of the United States. Denbury’s facilities in Region 4 are in Alabama and Mississippi. The company’s business model involves acquiring older oil fields and extending the life of the fields using advanced engineering extraction techniques.

EPA is pursuing penalties for 26 CWA discharges that occurred between August 8, 2008, and November 11, 2015, and resulted in approximately 7,000 barrels of oil and produced water discharged to the environment. The 26 violations took place at ten different Denbury facilities in Region 4—one facility in Alabama and nine facilities in Mississippi. Most of the discharges were the result of internal corrosion of pipes and flow lines, breaks in old lines, and failed equipment.

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