Apr 26, 2010 4:45 PM

$650,000 in fines over western Colorado contamination

Oxy USA has agreed to pay nearly $650,000 in fines after regulators said they found pit leaks that caused oil and gas contamination of spring waters near Parachute.

The company signed a proposed settlement that includes a fine of about $390,000 related to leaks in an unlined pit in the Cascade Canyon area and $257,400 over a torn liner at Rock Springs.  If approved by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, the $390,000 fine would be among the largest imposed by the commission.
The contamination was discovered in 2008. Regulators say Oxy operated pits without necessary permits, and water tests detected benzene levels well above allowable amounts.

Oxy admits no liability under the settlement.


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