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Marathon to pay $335K for 2016 diesel spill

March 29, 2018

Marathon Petroleum Corp. has agreed to pay $335,000 for a 2016 spill where nearly 36,000 gallons of diesel fuel leaked into the Wabash River near the Indiana-Illinois border.

The company’s settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency calls for $109,000 to go to Illinois, which pursued civil penalties based on violations of state-level environmental regulations, the Indianapolis Star reported. The spill occurred due to natural forces, said Shane Pochard, a Marathon spokesman.

Indiana didn’t seek penalties or damages because there was “no visible impact to wildlife or habitat” on that state’s side of the river, according to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.

The settlement came as about 42,000 gallons of diesel fuel spilled last week into Big Creek near Solitude. It’s unclear if any action will be taken against the company at the state or federal level.

“Marathon Pipeline deeply regrets the incident that occurred on Big Creek last week,” Pochard said. “We are resolved to prevent releases regardless of their cause and have an extensive pipeline integrity program that utilizes the latest industry technology.”

More than 1,100 barrels of diesel had been recovered from the spill as of Saturday, he said. The company is working to repair the pipeline, he said.

Marathon operates about 6,400 miles of pipeline that transport crude oil and petroleum products across the U.S. The company has had 61 pipeline incidents in the past 12 years, with about 840,000 gallons of hazardous liquids spilled. About 75 percent of that material was recovered. A dozen of the spills occurred in Indiana.

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