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EPA Orders Arklatex Operating Company, Inc. to Cease Discharges

Release Date: 01/12/2009
Contact Information: Dave Bary or Anthony Suttice at 214-665-2200 or r6press@epa.gov

(Dallas, Texas - January 12, 2009) The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has ordered Arklatex Operating Company, Inc. to cease discharges of pollutants at two if its oil field production and brine disposal facilities in Arkansas.

The facilities, one located in Union County and the other in Ouachita County, were discharging oil field brine to waters of the United States in violation of the Clean Water Act.

“EPA will continue to vigorously enforce our nation’s environmental laws through a strong enforcement program,” said EPA Regional Administrator Richard E. Greene. “Environmental responsibility is everyone’s responsibility.”

On December 16, 2008, an EPA inspector observed that pollutants, primarily oil field brine generated from oil production activities, had been recently discharged from the Union County site to wetlands immediately adjacent to Smackover Creek. On the same date, the EPA inspector observed pollutants recently discharged from the Ouachita County site to Ben Davis Lake. The pollutant at the point of entry into the lake was contaminated oil field brine.

Neither facility had permit coverage under the Clean Water Act, which authorizes the discharge of pollutants to waters of the United States.

Based on these findings, EPA has ordered Arklatex Operating Company, Inc. to cease all discharge of pollutants from its Union County facility, remove all brine and contaminated soils from the flow path located between the facility and the wetlands, remove brine from the wetland area north of the tank battery, and within 30 days provide written certification to EPA that these requirement has been completed..

EPA has also ordered Arklatex Operating Company, Inc. to cease all discharge of pollutants from its Ouachita County facility, remove all brine and contaminated soils from the flow path located between the facility and Ben Davis Lake, and within 45 days provide written certification to EPA that these requirements have been completed.

More about activities in EPA Region 6: http://www.epa.gov/region6

EPA audio file is available at http://www.epa.gov/region6/6xa/audio.htm#audio011209_arklatex

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