Exxon Ordered to Pay $1M Penalty For Montana Spill

June 15, 2015

U.S. officials have rejected Exxon Mobil Corp.’s request to reconsider a $1 million penalty imposed against the oil giant over a 63,000-gallon crude spill into Montana’s Yellowstone River.

The U.S. Department of Transportation on Friday ordered the Irving, Texas-based company to pay the penalty within 20 days.

Safety regulators said Exxon Mobil failed to adequately heed warnings that its 20-year-old Silvertip Pipeline was at risk from flooding. They said the company lacked procedures to minimize the spill when the line broke.

oilThe 2011 spill left oil along an 85-mile stretch of the Yellowstone, killing fish and wildlife and prompting a cleanup that took months.

Exxon attorneys had asked the Department of Transportation to withdraw three of its four findings of pipeline safety violations. It also sought to reduce the penalty.

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