EPA Announces Clean Water Act Settlement with Fleur de Lis

On Wednesday, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it reached a $1.9 million settlement with Fleur de Lis Energy and Fleur de Lis Operating for purported Clean Water Act (CWA) violations at the defendant’s Wyoming oil and gas facilities. 

This settlement addresses six discharges of crude oil and produced waters which were reportedly released from the facilities operated by Fleur de Lis into shorelines. The settlement also resolves allegations that the company did not have sufficient Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure Plans and Facility Response Plans at some of its facilities. 

Suzanne Bohan, director of EPA Region 8’s Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Division, said in the press release, “Companies that store oil must ensure they have adequate spill prevention and discharge response plans to protect public health and the environment … (the) EPA is committed to ensuring compliance with federal requirements that safeguard our rivers and streams.” 

The almost $2 million fine will reportedly be placed in the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund which is “used by federal agencies to respond to discharges of oil and hazardous substances,” according to the press release. The defendant also submitted plans for its facilities which do match CWA requirements and is responding to discharges of oil it caused in Salt Creek and Powder River. 

The complaint in the matter was filed on Wednesday, and followed shortly by the Stipulation with the parties’ agreement. The filings purported that Fleur de Lis discharged amounts of oil that could harm public health or the environment. Specifically, on October 5, 2016 about 4,746 gallons of oil were discharged into Salt Creek in Wyoming which also flows into Powder River. Both bodies of water are considered navigable water in the CWA. Additionally, 23,478 gallons of oil and related water were discharged on August 12, 2017; 306,907 gallons were discharged on May 29, 2018; and a few other discharges of less than 1,000 also occurred.