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Texas Company Pays $93K for Oil Spill in Montana

By Beacon Staff

BILLINGS – A Texas company has paid a $93,100 fine for spilling 3,300 gallons of oil into a southeastern Montana creek when an underground pipeline failed.

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality announced Wednesday that Fort Worth-based Encore Operating LP had paid the fine to settle claims the spill violated state water quality rules.

The November 2009 pipeline failure dumped an estimated 80 barrels of oil and 800 barrels of production water into Belle Creek in Powder River County.

Tests of water samples collected from the creek showed concentrations of toxic benzene that exceeded pollution limits, in one case by more than 11 times the state’s standard.

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