The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Justice announced a settlement with Mobil Exploration and Producing U.S. Inc. worth over $5.5 million for numerous oil and produced water spills from its oil production activities on the Navajo Nation in southeastern Utah.
The settlement includes a $515,000 penalty and requires the company to spend about $4.7 million on field operation improvements to reduce spill incidences.
Mobil will also spend approximately $327,000 on environmental projects that include sanitation facilities and construction of a drinking water supply line extension that will provide running water to 17 of the remote residences located on the oil production fields. Currently, local residents may drive as long as an hour to fill 55 gallon drums with drinking water.
"This settlement brings Mobil's oil production activities into compliance with water pollution control requirements, and also brings much-needed public health benefits to residents of the area who still lack an in-home drinking water supply," said Wayne Nastri, the EPA's regional administrator for the Pacific Southwest region.
"Companies that operate and manage our nation's oil producing infrastructure have a responsibility to ensure the safety and integrity of their operations," said Assistant Attorney General Thomas L. Sansonetti of the Justice Department's Environment and Natural Resources Division. "Today's settlement is an excellent mechanism for bringing Mobil's operations into compliance and also works to improve the well-being of those living on the Navajo Nation in southeastern Utah."