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Settlement Reached on SUNOCO Oil Spill
At John Heinz Refuge


U.S. Settles Suit Against SUNOCO Over 192,000 Gallon Oil Spill at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge

John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum. Credit: USFWS

John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum

Sunoco, Inc. (R&M) and Sun Pipeline Company (collectively, "Sunoco") have agreed to pay more than $3.6 million to settle a federal government lawsuit over the massive oil spill at the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum in February 2000. On July 27, the Justice Department filed the settlement papers in federal district court in Philadelphia on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

"This spill damaged one of our country's most valued resources — land dedicated to conserving wildlife and wildlife habitat as a national wildlife refuge," said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Northeast Regional Director Marvin E. Moriarty. "We are pleased with the settlement, and we look forward to restoring wildlife habitat to compensate for the natural resource injuries at the site."

Under the proposed consent decree, Sunoco will be required to pay a penalty of more than $2.7 million for Clean Water Act violations. The violations are related to the discharge of an estimated 192,000 gallons of crude oil into a pond and surrounding wetlands at the refuge as the result of a crack in an oil pipeline. This penalty is to be deposited in the federal Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund. In addition, Sunoco has agreed to pay $865,000 for damages to natural resources caused by the same oil spill.

See the full news release.