Citgo Refinery Spill | Lake Charles | 3 million gallons | June 2006

Citgo shrugs off $22 million in total fines and keeps pumping

West Atlas Explosion and and Spill

3 million gallon cleanup more or less

Three million gallons of oil leaked from a CITGO storage tank at the Lake Charles refinery on June 19, 2006 and into local waterways. The total amount of oil spilled was 25 million gallons, but the rest was “contained”. The massive spill caused severe environmental damage to coastal habitat, bivalves, and bottom-dwelling fish. The Calcasieu River ship channel, Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, and Prien, Moss, and Calcasieu Lakes were closed. In 2011, U.S. District Judge Richard T. Haik in Lafayette, Louisiana, ruled Citgo must pay $6 million in Federal and $3 milion in state fines. That is far less than the $240 million maximum mandated by the clean water act. Citgo failed to spend money on upgrades that would have prevented the spill. The company also pleaded guilty to criminal negligence and paid another $13 million.

For a global perspective on oil and gas spills, explosions and other screw ups, visit the CatMap PetroChemical Screw Ups Map

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