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Barge Owner Pays $15.3 Million to Settle Suit over Oil Spill that Contaminated 160 Miles of Coastline

  • Texas AG Ken Paxton and the U.S. Department of Justice reached a settlement with barge owner Kirby Inland Marine, LP (“Kirby”) to resolve allegations that Kirby caused environmental damage due to an oil spill from one of its barges in violation of the federal Oil Pollution Act.
  • The complaint alleged that a barge owned and operated by Kirby spilled approximately 168,000 gallons of oil into Galveston Bay as a result of colliding with a cargo ship and that the oil spilled contaminated 160 miles of coastline, including a wildlife refuge, and aquatic and marine habitats.
  • Under the terms of the proposed consent decree, Kirby will pay $15.3 million into a project-specific account jointly administered by federal and state trustees and used to restore or ameliorate the impact of the oil spill on marine life, birds, beaches, and marshes. Kirby will also fully reimburse federal and state trustees for costs associated with their assessment work.