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Texas oil company agrees to fine for Wyoming spill

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - A Texas oil company has agreed to pay a $115,000 fine after spilling almost 20,000 gallons of wastewater and crude in western Wyoming, federal officials said Wednesday.

The 2018 spill by Merit Energy Company came after a pipeline broke at a battery of oil tanks northwest of Thermopolis, Wyoming, according to the settlement. Some of the spilled water and oil reached Grass Creek, a tributary of the Big Horn River.

An Environmental Protection Agency Investigation found that the Dallas-based company did not have an adequate emergency response plan in place as required under the federal Clean Water Act. The company has since submitted a new response plan and completed a cleanup of the site.

Cleanup costs were not available, EPA spokesperson Laura Jenkins said.

The fine is detailed in a proposed legal settlement that's subject to a 30 day public comment period before it can become final.

Representatives of Merit did not immediately respond to a request of comment.

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Associated Press


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