Kinder Morgan to pay $240,000 to settle ocean-dumping charge
Kinder Morgan Energy Partners' Louisiana-based subsidiary has reached an agreement with the U.S. Justice Department to settle a federal felony charge of ocean dumping.
The Oregon U.S. Attorney's office filed the single charge Friday, alleging that in 2003 a Kinder Morgan Bulk Terminals employee at the firm's Port of Portland terminal paid a freighter captain to illegally dump more than 150 tons of potash into the Pacific Ocean.
As part of the settlement, Kinder Morgan will agree to plea to a criminal violation of the Ocean Dumping Act, pay a $175,000 fine, and donate $65,000 to a state environmental fund.
'Kinder Morgan Bulk Terminals has acted appropriately in this case by cooperating and agreeing in (principle) to plead guilty,' U.S. Attorney Karin Immergut said in a statement. 'We believe this will send a strong message to other corporations that the government will seek fair sentences in these cases.'
In a statement, the energy and pipeline firm pointed out that the firm did not financially profit from the dumping and stressed that no one outside the Portland terminal approved or knew of the dumping arrangement with the freighter captain.