Citgo Faces Fines

Reported by: Associated Press

April 26, 2007

The state Department of Environmental Quality has put Citgo on notice of potential fines in a June 2006 spill of about 45-thousand-500 barrels of oily wastewater from the company's Lake Charles refinery.

The spill, among the largest in state history, forced the closure of parts of the Calcasieu Ship Channel for more than two weeks.

DEQ issued Citgo a compliance order and notice of potential penalty. The company was ordered to take steps to prevent a future spill and giving formal notice of penalties that could climb to $32,500 per violation per day.

The notice does not mean Citgo will pay fines in the incident, but it suggests DEQ is considering a penalty.

The compliance order, which can be appealed, requires Citgo to address problems that led to the spill and to submit a detailed report on what actions were taken in response to the incident.

Citgo spokeswoman Shawn Trahan said she could not comment on the specifics of the compliance order and penalty notice.