An official website of the United States government.

This is not the current EPA website. To navigate to the current EPA website, please go to This website is historical material reflecting the EPA website as it existed on January 19, 2021. This website is no longer updated and links to external websites and some internal pages may not work. More information »

News Releases

News Releases from Region 07

EPA Reaches Settlements with Oil Production Facilities in Hays, Kansas, for Alleged Clean Water Act Violations

Contact Information: 
Ben Washburn (

Environmental News


EPA seal(Lenexa, Kan., Nov. 18, 2020) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reached settlements with two Hays, Kansas, crude oil production facilities for allegedly discharging oil into the Saline River, in violation of the federal Clean Water Act. According to EPA, R.P. Nixon Operations Inc. released approximately 165 barrels of oil in 2016, and Empire Energy E&P LLC released approximately 16 barrels in 2019.

EPA inspections of the companies’ facilities conducted after the reported discharges revealed additional violations of regulations intended to prevent and contain oil spills.

Under the terms of the settlements, R.P. Nixon and Empire Energy agreed to pay civil penalties of $50,000 and $37,000, respectively. R.P. Nixon also agreed to take actions to achieve compliance at approximately 90 of its oil production facilities in Kansas.

Facilities that store 1,320 gallons or greater of oil products in aboveground storage tanks are subject to Clean Water Act regulations that require, among other things, accurate facility diagrams, equipment maintenance plans, and proper containment to contain oil releases. EPA alleges that the companies failed to comply with these requirements, and that such noncompliance contributed to the discharges to the Saline River.

# # #

Learn more about Clean Water Act enforcement

Learn more about EPA Region 7

View all Region 7 news releases

Connect with EPA Region 7 on Facebook:

Follow us on Twitter: @EPARegion7