Pipeline company sentenced for largest-ever inland oil spill

WILLISTON – Summit Midstream Partners LLC, a pipeline company responsible for the discharge of 29 million gallons of oil-contaminated “produced water” – a waste product of hydraulic fracturing – was sentenced to pay a $15 million criminal fine and serve a three-year period of probation today by U.S. District Court Judge Daniel M. Traynor in Williston.

The pipeline company pleaded guilty to criminal charges that it violated the Clean Water Act, as amended by the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, by negligently causing the discharge into U.S. waters in 2014, and deliberately failing to immediately report the spill to federal authorities as required. More than 700,000 barrels were discharged, contaminating Blacktail Creek and nearby land and groundwater.

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