A judge says a Houston company must pay $1 million in fines and community service payments for falsifying water tests at an offshore production platform in 2009.
The U.S. Attorney's Office in New Orleans says in a news release that U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon sentenced W&T Offshore Inc. on Thursday. The company had pleaded guilty to tampering with monitoring required under the Clean Water Act.
Permits require monthly tests of whether oil and grease discharges are within federal limits.
U.S. Senator David Vitter has been named deputy Senate whip and will take over as the top ranking Republican on the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
The committee has jurisdiction over levees, the Army Corps of Engineers, the Environment Protection Agency, and two major bills coming up this year: the highway bill and the Water Resources Development Act.
Vitter also remains on the Small Business, the Armed Services, the Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs committees.
Massive settlements may be evidence of new legal precedent.
A federal judge will be asked to approve a proposed $1.4 billion settlement linked to the BP oil spill in 2010. Rig owner Transocean has reached a deal with the Department of Justice that appears to be creating legal precedent.
Transocean, the owner of the Deepwater Horizon rig where 11 men died in April 2010, has agreed to pay $1.4 billion in criminal and civil penalties to resolve Justice Department allegations over its role in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
The Justice Department has filed two criminal misdemeanor charges against Temple-Inland, the former owner of a paper mill in Bogalusa, for violating federal environmental laws.
The charges stem from a five-day spill of pollutants from the company's paper plant into the Pearl River in August 2011.
A bill of information filed in U.S. District Court in New Orleans on Dec. 20 says a "liquor" produced during the processing of pulpwood into paper pulp was discharged, resulting in the death of thousands of fish.
Workers have completed a dredging project designed to improve water quality in the Atchafalaya Basin.
The Louisiana Department of Natural Resources said Wednesday that the dredging work is designed to move freshwater from the Atchafalaya River into a swamp within the Attakapas Island Wildlife Management Area in St. Mary Parish.
DNR says the $184,000 project will improve water quality off the east bank of the river near Grand Lake.
The Atchafalaya Basin Technical Advisory Group approved the project.