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FISCAL YEAR: 2013
1. PRINCIPAL DEFENDANT: Kent Phillips
W.D.  Louisiana  1:11-CR-00178-DDD-JDK


EPA-CID conducted an investigation, which revealed that KEPCO Operating, Inc., an oil production company, failed to report the spill of a large amount of crude oil from a land based well site in north Louisiana, which later entered Devil's Creek. Devil's Creek is a tributary of Catahoula Lake, which is the largest, natural freshwater lake in Louisiana and is a principal stopover for migratory waterfowl.



July 22, 2011
Phillips was charged with violating the CWA {33 U.S.C. 1319(c)(1)(A) - negligent violations}.

CITATION: 18 U.S.C. 1001
June 21, 2012
Phillips pled guilty to the charge.


Press Release
Western District of Louisiana
June 21, 2012

FORMER OWNER AND OPERATOR OF OIL WELL PLEADS GUILTY TO DISCHARGING OIL INTO DEVIL’S CREEK

Alexandria, La.: United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced that Kent Phillips, 61, of Oklahoma City Okla., pled guilty today to negligently discharging oil into Devil’s Creek in violation of the Clean Water Act.

Kent Phillips was a corporate officer and owner of Kepco Operating, Inc . Kepco was an oil production company operating and leasing oil field sites near Jena, La., including the Hailey #2 well site.

Phillips pled guilty to a one-count Bill of Information which charged that in December of 2007, Phillips negligently discharged oil into Devil’s Creek without a permit. The Clean Water Act (CWA) makes it a misdemeanor to negligently violate section 1321(b)(3) of the CWA. Phillips faces a penalty of not more than one year imprisonment and a fine of not more than $ 25,000 per day of the violation. Sentencing has been set for October 10, 2010.

The case is being investigated by Environmental Protection Agency’s Criminal Investigation Division and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Earl M. Campbell.

October 25, 2012
Phillips was sentenced to 12 months probation and ordered to pay a federal fine in the amount of $2,500.

STATUTE:
  • Clean Water Act (CWA)

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