Last Modified: Tuesday, December 11, 2012 9:26 PM
One of the two men accused in the illegal dumping of oil and chlorides last year into the waters at Little Chenier oilfield pleaded guilty Tuesday to illegal discharge of pollutants into state waters, said officials with the state Department of Environmental Quality.
T&F Oil Co. CEO Lobdell Percy Brown III received probation and has to pay fines and restitution of more than $76,000, DEQ spokesman Rodney Mallett said Tuesday.
Brown and his brother, Carr, a field technician, were indicted, along with T&F Oil, in Cameron Parish in October 2011 on charges they allowed “two willful discharges of oil and chlorides into the waters of the state, along with five additional spills that went unreported from sites located in Little Chenier oilfield,” reads a DEQ news release.
The violations occurred between July 2009 and January 2011, but how much oil and chlorides were illegally discharged may never be known, Mike Nolan, a DEQ attorney, has said. Because it was an illegal discharge, an exact quantity is not available.
Besides six years’ probation, Brown must pay $11,080 to the DEQ’s Environmental Trust Fund — for investigation costs — within the next 30 days. He must also reimburse up to half of DEQ’s total investigation amount, including fines incurred by his brother.
In addition, Brown must pay a criminal fine of $15,000, plus restitution. His probation stipulates that he pay $50,000 to the court registry to help pay for the cleanup. If Brown violates his probation, he could spend up to six years in prison.
DEQ reportedly began investigating the incident after receiving a civilian complaint.
To report spills, releases, odors, fish kills, open burning, waste tires or other environmental incidents, call DEQ at 888-763-5424.Online: www.deq.louisiana.gov.