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Environmental Enforcement: Maritime Contractors Settle Galveston Bay Complaint

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) today announced it has lodged a proposed consent decree (pdf) that resolves Clean Water Act claims against ten maritime contractors, for discharges into East Galveston Bay, Texas.

DOJ’s complaint alleges that Rutherford Oil Corp. and nine other defendants violated the Clean Water Act and the River and Harbors Act on five separate occasions by discharging dredged or fill material, or by controlling and directing the discharge of that material, without authorization by the Army Corps of Engineers.

The settlement calls for Rutherford Oil Corp. to pay a civil penalty of $86,000 and restitution of an estimated $714,0000 by restoring 17 acres of oyster reef in East Galveston Bay, in accordance with plans approved by the Army Corps of Engineers.

Under the proposed consent decree, filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, the nine other settling defendants agreed to reimburse Rutherford Oil Corp. for their share of the restoration project.

Brown Water Marine Service, Inc. and Triple S Marine, LLC both agreed to pay $60,000 each to Rutherford.

Caillou Island Towing Company, Inc., Double Eagle Marine LLC, Gravois Tugs, Inc. and M/V Captain Timmy, Inc. each agreed to pay $55,000 to Rutherford.

Stagg Marine, Inc., Tiger Towing, Inc., and Transinland Marine, Inc., together agreed to pay $60,000 to Rutherford.

The proposed consent decree also prevents any of the settling defendants from discharging dredged or fill material in the future without authorization by the Army Corps of Engineers.

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