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May 03, 2011

BP Fined for That Other Oil Spill

BP oil avatar Remember that BP oil disaster? No, not that one. I'm talking about the dual 2006 spills that dumped more than 5,000 barrels of crude oil along Alaska's North Slope. The Environmental Protection Agency today handed a bill to BP in the amount of $25 million for the mess. The dollar amount is the largest per-barrel penalty to date for an oil-spill incident, according to the EPA.

Five thousand barrels equals more than 200,000 gallons. It's nothing compared to BP's tragic blunder in the Gulf. But in terms of the company's conduct, this five-year-old incident was par for the course. Violations stemmed from BP's failure "to prepare and implement certain requirements of the spill prevention measures required under the Clean Water Act (CWA)." The oil giant also ignored standards under the Clean Air Act when handling "asbestos-containing materials from its pipeline."

A cool 25 mill is a hefty sum. But I'm sure BP will be okay. It's a drop of oil in the bucket. Last week, the company nailed a first-quarter profit of $5.5 billion. (But I guess that's nothing compared to Exxon's profit of $11 billion.)

-- Brian Foley

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