Pipeline Pay $3.65 Million to Settle Ammonia Spills Claims

Tulsa-based Magellan Ammonia Pipeline; Enterprise Products Operating of Houston and Mid-America Pipeline Co., also known as MAPCO pay a civil penalty of $3.65 million to resolve violations of the Clean Water Act resulting from anhydrous ammonia spills in Nebraska and Kansas, the Justice Department and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced.
The 2004 spills resulted in significant fish kills in surrounding waterways.
Magellan operates the ammonia pipeline, having terminated its operating agreement with Enterprise and MAPCO in 2007.
In a complaint filed jointly with the consent decree, the DOJ alleges that Magellan, which owned the pipeline, along with operating firms Enterprise and MAPCO, were responsible for two anhydrous ammonia spills in 2004. The first spill occurred on Sept. 27, 2004, near Blair, Neb., killing an estimated 1,000 fish along North Creek and a golf course pond; and the second spill occurred on Oct. 27, 2004, near Kingman, Kan., killing more than 20,000 fish along a 12.5-mile section of Smoots Creek.
The rupture of the pipeline near Blair resulted in the hospitalization of one individual and emergency responders evacuated homes within a one mile circumference of the break. Additionally, the Kingman rupture resulted in a 40-foot high vapor cloud that was a mile long and resulted in evacuations as well.
The Justice Department also alleges that as operators of the pipeline system, Enterprise and MAPCO violated the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Liability and Compensation Act by failing to immediately notify the National Response Center about the spills.
Magellan agrees to spend an additional $550,000 on improvements to prevent or minimize releases along selected segments of its pipeline system and will establish a program to minimize third-party damage to the system.
Additionally, through the consent decree, Magellan has promised to make a series of required improvements in its employee training, leak response procedures, and protocols for detecting and responding to leaks and ruptures.

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