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Texas Oil Company Contaminated Gulf

NEW ORLEANS (CN) - Federal prosecutors charged ATP, a Texas oil company, with dumping oil and chemical dispersants from an offshore oil platform into the Gulf of Mexico.

ATP Oil & Gas Corp. is charged with polluting the Gulf at its ATP Innovator drilling platform, 45 miles off the Louisiana coast, 125 miles south of New Orleans.

The United States charged it under the Clean Water Act and the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act.

ATP dumped oil and wastewater into the ocean, then added a chemical dispersant to try to disguise it, prosecutors said.

ATP employees and contractors called the chemical dispersant, Cleartron ZB-103, "the sheen buster," according to the federal complaint.

The violations were discovered during a March 2012 inspection. ATP contaminated the Gulf in this way for a year and a half, prosecutors said, from at least October 2010 to March 2012.

The United States seeks civil penalties of up to $37,500 a day and an order telling ATP not to do it again.

Also sued was ATP Infrastructure Partners.

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