NuStar Pipeline settles with federal authorities

NuStar Pipeline Operating Partnership LP agreed to pay a $450,000 fine to settle federal allegations that it did not prepare and maintain proper spill response plans at eight of its storage terminals, the US Department of Justice and Environmental Protection Agency jointly announced on Mar. 18.

Nick Snow
OGJ Washington Editor
WASHINGTON, DC, Mar. 19 – NuStar Pipeline Operating Partnership LP agreed to pay a $450,000 fine to settle federal allegations that it did not prepare and maintain proper spill response plans at eight of its storage terminals, the US Department of Justice and Environmental Protection Agency jointly announced on Mar. 18.

The subsidiary of San Antonio-based NuStar Energy LP also agreed to spend another $768,000 on a supplemental environmental project to install and operate tank volume monitoring and alarm systems at several of its facilities.

The settlement’s terms were outlined in a consent decree filed on Mar. 18 in US District Court in Omaha, DOJ and EPA said. The consent decree is subject to a 30-day comment period and final corut approval.

The settlement involves NuStar terminals in Nebraska, Iowa, and Kansas. The eight sites have a combined storage capacity of more than 71 million gal of crude oil, according to DOJ and EPA.

The federal Clean Water Act requires facilities that store large quantities of crude oil and petroleum products to develop response plans that outline procedures for addressing “worst-case” discharges. EPA said that it initially discovered that several NuStar facilities did not have such plans during inspections in 2006. It said that the company subsequently prepared response plans for each of the facilities after the agency initiated an investigation.

The company that is now NuStar Energy was formed by Ultramar Diamond Shamrock Corp. in April 2001. It became Valero LP after Valero Energy Corp. acquired UDS. NuStar was renamed and spun off from Valero.
Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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