BATON ROUGE – The U.S. Justice Department filed a civil action on May 2 on behalf of the Coast Guard regarding the alleged unlawful release of oil waste. The case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana.
The claims allege defendants WWC Energy Group LLC and Sammary Garrar of releasing illegal oil discharges from the Frog Lake facility, which produces oil and is owned by WWC Energy Group.
It was the Coast Guard that found the facility was allegedly in violation off the Clean Water Act, which states the “discharge of oil or any hazardous substances into or upon the navigable waters of the United States [or] adjourning shorelines … in such quantities as may be harmful,” is illegal.
Frog Lake Facility suffered an oil spill, but the lawsuit states it did not inform the National Response Center, as required. The Coast Guard also said the facility was operated poorly.
The regulation states anyone who is in violation of this law will be ordered to pay a civil penalty up to $46,192 per day of discharge or up to $1, 848 per barrel of oil of discharge. The penalties can be upped to at least $184,767 per discharge and up to $5,543 per barrel if the violation is a result of “gross negligence or willful misconduct.”
The U.S. asked the district court to order the defendants to pay the civil penalties. They also requested the court order the defendants to pay litigation costs.