The United States is sueing BP in Alaska after alleging the company violated national pollution laws in a series of pipeline leaks, it was understood Wednesday.
Three U.S. agencies — Justice, Environmental and Transportation — alleged in an Alaska court that BP Exploration illegally discharged over 200,000 gallons of crude oil from its pipelines onto the North Slope of Alaska during two major oil spills in the spring and summer of 2006.
The complaint alleges BP failed to prepare and implement “spill prevention, countermeasure and control plans in accordance with good engineering practices”. BP is also accused under Clean Air Act guidelines of “improperly removing asbestos-containing materials from its pipelines”.
The “maximum penalty” is sought.
The court action follows a BP guilty plea on Nov. 29, 2007, to one count of criminal negligent discharge of oil to the waters of the United States in violation of the Clean Water Act.
Both major spills under the court’s scrutiny happened in Prudhoe Bay, a large oilfield and one of the oldest on the North Slope.