British Petroleum Sued by DOJ Over Alaska Spills

     (CN) – Oil Giant British Petroleum Exploration Inc. was hit with a civil complaint from the U.S. Department of Justice based on a massive leak of 200,000 gallons of crude oil spilled from pipes on the Alaska North Slope in 2006, in potential violation of federal clean air and water laws.




     The 200,000 gallons is the total of two spills which occurred in the spring and summer of 2006. The spill spread over two acres and lasted six days before the company noticed and repaired the leak, according to the complaint.
     The Department of Justice withheld comment when asked about the frequency and negligence of simultaneous spills.
     BP failed to formulate adequate spill prevention measures as required by the federal Clean Water Act and neglected to prepare spill prevention, countermeasure, and control plans, says the complaint.
     The Justice Department complaint also says BP failed to maintain its pipes to the standards of the federal Clean Air Act when it improperly removed asbestos. The company is blamed for not having an on-site representative trained in the proper removal of asbestos and for not properly disposing of the asbestos, among other things.
     BP pleaded guilty in November 2007 to criminal negligence associated with the spills.

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