Judge asked to reconsider CITGO penalty

(Source: MGN Online)
(Source: MGN Online)

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) - A federal appeals court has ordered a district judge to reconsider a $6 million penalty against CITGO Petroleum in a lawsuit over a 2006 oil spill at the company's Lake Charles refinery.

At issue is a June 2006 oil spill that happened when heavy rains caused two "slop oil" tanks at the refinery to overflow, sending pollutants into nearby waterways, including the Calcasieu River.

A recent 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' ruling instructs U.S. District Judge Richard Haik to re-evaluate the company's prior environmental violations and its decision to put off needed upgrades that might have prevented the spill.

The Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/13aULf0 ) the Justice Department, which brought the suit, had sought penalties of $247 million, arguing that CITGO had cut corners on safety to improve its bottom line.

Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.