Cottonwood Creek, Inc. to pay $170,000 for Clean Water Act violations at oil pumping facility in Big Horn County, Wyoming

Company cited for oil spill at Bonanza Station and inadequate spill prevention and planning

Denver, Colo. – July 15, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced a settlement with Enid, Oklahoma-based Cottonwood Creek, Inc. in which the company has agreed to pay a $170,000 penalty to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Water Act related to oil pollution at the Bonanza Station in Big Horn County, Wyoming.

The agreement resolves alleged violations of the Clean Water Act’s requirements for oil and gas operations at the Bonanza Station, an oil gathering, pumping and storage facility, including a March 8, 2010, pipeline discharge of approximately 162 barrels of crude oil into a tributary of the Nowood River. The agreement also resolves allegations that Cottonwood Creek, Inc. violated EPA regulations regarding the preparation and implementation of a Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) Plan and a Facility Response Plan (FRP). These plans are the first line of defense for preventing oil discharges and providing immediate containment measures when an oil discharge does occur. The company cleaned up the oil release and ultimately submitted an acceptable FRP.

“This settlement underscores the importance of EPA’s oil spill prevention requirements in safeguarding our rivers and streams,” said Shaun McGrath, regional administrator for EPA‘s Denver office. “Cottonwood Creek was responsive in putting the necessary preventative and response measures in place, and EPA will ensure that the station’s current operators continue to comply with these critical environmental requirements.”

The settlement requires Cottonwood Creek, Inc. to pay a civil penalty of $170,000 which will be deposited into the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, a fund used by federal agencies to respond to discharges of oil and hazardous substances.

Cottonwood Creek, Inc. sold the Bonanza Station to the Washakie Pipeline Company in 2012.
The consent decree was lodged in U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming. A copy of the consent decree is available for review and public comment on the Department of Justice website at: http://www.justice.gov/enrd/Consent_Decrees.html

For more information on the Clean Water Act, visit EPA’s compliance web page: http://www.epa.gov/compliance/civil/cwa/index.html

For more information on spill prevention, control, and countermeasure regulatory requirements visit EPA’s compliance web page: http://www2.epa.gov/oil-spills-prevention-and-preparedness-regulations

Help EPA protect our nation’s land, air and water by reporting violations: http://www.epa.gov/tips/

Contact Information: Donna Inman: (303) 312-6201, inman.donnak (at) epa (dot) gov; Richard Mylott: (303) 312-6654, mylott.richard (at) epa (dot) gov

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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) leads the nation's environmental science, research, education and assessment efforts. The mission of the Environmental Protection Agency is to protect human health and the environment. Since 1970, EPA has been working for a cleaner, healthier environment for the American people.

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