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PA OIL SPILL NETS JAIL TERM FOR RAILROAD CEO

Release Date: 12/12/97
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FOR RELEASE: FRIDAY, DECEMBER 12, 1997


OIL SPILL NETS JAIL TERM FOR RAILROAD CEO

On Dec. 2, in U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska in Anchorage, Paul Taylor, former president of the Pacific and Arctic Railway and Navigation Company and former vice-president of Pacific and Arctic Pipelines Inc., was sentenced to serve nine months in prison on each count, with the sentences to be served concurrently; ordered to pay a $10,000 fine; and ordered to serve three years supervised release for his conviction on two counts of making false statements to federal investigators. A jury found that Taylor falsely informed the Coast Guard that oil spilled from a company pipeline on Oct. 1, 1994 had not reached the Skagway River. In fact, the oil had reached the river and had spread to the community of Skagway, several miles away. In addition, the jury also convicted Taylor of showing Coast Guard investigators a damaged section of pipe that had been altered to significantly shorten a crack and make it appear to have been a 2-3" hairline fracture. Before alteration, the crack had been 14" long. The crack and oil discharge were caused by a backhoe that struck the pipe during the illegal removal of rock from U.S. Forest Service land near the pipeline. The case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division, the FBI, the U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Office, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and the Alaska State Troopers.

R-172 ###