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ExxonMobil Oil Corporation Clean Water Act Settlement

The EPA, the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the California Department of Fish and Game announced a settlement under which Exxonmobil Oil Corporation will pay the U.S. and the State of California $4.7 million in compensation for a spill of crude oil from a pipeline operated by the former Mobil Oil Company.

The spill occurred when a segment of pipeline beneath the Valencia Golf Course in Valencia, Los Angeles County, California, ruptured in 1991. The oil flowing from the ruptured pipeline fouled a 15-mile stretch of the Santa Clara River between Los Angeles and Ventura Counties. The Santa Clara River and surrounding habitat are home to a rich abundance of plant life, including numerous endangered and threatened species, protected under Federal and California law. Damage to flora and fauna in and along the river was unavoidable.

John Peter Suarez, EPA's Assistant Administrator for the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, said "this case underscores the harm oil spills can cause despite a rapid response by the company -- at least 1,777 barrels of crude oil were discharged and the spill caused extensive damage. Enforcement in this area is crucial to ensure companies have plans in place for preventing, preparing for, and responding to oil spills."

The settlement was lodged in the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles on September 24, 2002, and is subject to a 30-day public comment period.

For additional information, contact:

Lauren V. Kabler
1200 Pennsylvania, NW (2243A)
Washington, DC 20460
(202) 564-4052