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Case Summary: EPA Receives $14 Million for Cleanup Costs at Oklahoma Refining Company Superfund Site

On November 1, 2013, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware approved a settlement agreement for APCO Liquidating Trust to pay the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) $14 million in past and future response costs for cleanup activity at the Oklahoma Refining Company Superfund Site located in Cyril, Okla.

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Information about the APCO Liquidating Trust

APCO Liquidating Trust is a successor in interest to APCO Oil Corporation. APCO Oil Corporation was voluntarily dissolved by its shareholders on September 29, 1978. Shortly thereafter, APCO Liquidating Trust and the APCO Missing Stockholder Trust (the “Debtors”) were formed pursuant to an order of the Court of Chancery of the state of Delaware.

Information about the Oklahoma Refining Company Superfund Site

The Oklahoma Refining Company Superfund Site is a 160-acre former refinery site in Cyril, Okla. The site was operated by Anderson-Prichard Oil Corporation and APCO Oil Corporation as an oil refinery from 1920 until approximately 1978, and then in a limited capacity by Oklahoma Refining Company until 1987. In 1990, EPA placed the site on the National Priorities List.

Approximately one-half of the site formerly consisted of a refinery area and a tank farm area. The other half of the site formerly consisted of grasslands and approximately 50 randomly-sized pits and wastewater ponds containing varying amounts of sediment. The site is joined on its northern and eastern borders by Gladys Creek.

More information on the Oklahoma Refining Company Superfund Site.

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Pollutants and Environmental Effects

The refining processes included crude distillation, vacuum distillation, catalyst cracking, akylation, bimetallic reforming, and downstream processing. Wastes were placed in surface pits on the refinery property. Wastewater was sent through an oil-water separator to remove oils and then treated in a series of surface impoundments. Treated water from the surface impoundments was discharged into Gladys Creek. These operations resulted in contamination of soil, sediment, surface water, and shallow ground water beneath the site.

The contaminants present at the site included benzene, phenol, toluene, xylene, methyl phenol, naphthalene, ethylbenzene, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, mercury, nickel, and zinc as well as areas of low and high pH.

Background Information on Bankruptcy Proceedings

In February 2006, EPA filed a proof of claim in the Trust’s bankruptcy proceeding seeking the recovery of past and estimated future cleanup costs incurred in connection with the Site.

On September 24, 2013, the Department of Justice lodged settlement documents under which the APCO Liquidating Trust will pay $14 million to the United States resolving an action by the United States to resolve the litigation. The consent decree was entered by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware on November 1, 2013.

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Contact Information

Pamela Travis
Assistant Regional Counsel
(214) 665-8056

Lawrence E. Andrews
Litigation Coordinator
(214) 665-7397

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Region 6
1201 Elm Street, Suite 500
Dallas, Texas 75202 

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