[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 22 (Friday, February 1, 2019)]
[Pages 1231-1232]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-00546]



Notice of Lodging of Proposed Consent Decree Under the Clean 
Water Act

    On January 8, 2019, the Department of Justice lodged a proposed 
Consent Decree with the United States District Court for the Eastern 
District of Louisiana in the lawsuit entitled United States of America 
v. Shell Offshore Inc., Civil Action No. 2:19-cv-122.
    The Complaint in this Clean Water Act case was filed on behalf of 
the United States Coast Guard against Shell Offshore Inc. concurrently 
with the lodging of the proposed Consent Decree. The Complaint alleges 
that Shell is civilly liable for violation of Section 311 of the Clean 
Water Act (``CWA''), 33 U.S.C. 1321. The Complaint seeks civil 
penalties and injunctive relief for the discharge of harmful quantities 
of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. In the Complaint, the United 
States alleges that Shell is liable under the Clean Water Act for the 
crude oil spill that began on the night of May 11, 2016, at Shell's 
Green Canyon Block 248 offshore production facility located 97 miles 
offshore in the Gulf of Mexico. The Complaint alleges the spill began 
when a 6-inch-diamater transfer pipeline at the sea floor cracked due 
to stress on a joint in the line. Shell caused this added stress by 
placing sediment and debris from other operations on top of the pipe, 
which caused the pipe to settle into the sea bed. As a result of the 
pipeline crack, approximately 1,900 barrels (approximately 80,000 
gallons) of crude oil flowed into the ocean.
    Under the Consent Decree, Shell is required to pay $2.2 million in 
civil penalties. In addition, Shell commits to improve its leak-
detection training program across its operations in the Gulf of Mexico. 
Since the spill, Shell has provided enhanced training to its control 
room operators and subsea supervisors. Shell will now develop and 
conduct refresher training that focuses on leak detection and includes 
simulator-based exercises that incorporate conditions experienced 
during the May 2016 spill.
    The penalties and remedial measures required by the Consent Decree 
are in addition to the costs the company has already incurred to clean 
up the oil spill and compensate the public for injuries to natural 
resources. In a separate settlement filed in July 2018 and approved by 
the court in August, Shell agreed to pay a total of $3.871 million to 
the United States and Louisiana for natural resource restoration 
projects and to reimburse all of the state and federal trustees' 
remaining unpaid past assessment costs related to the spill.
    The publication of this notice opens a period for public comment on 
the proposed Consent Decree. Comments should be addressed to the 
Assistant Attorney General, Environment and Natural Resources Division, 
and should refer to United States of America v. Shell Offshore Inc., 
D.J. Ref. No. 90-5-1-1-11920/1. All comments must be submitted no later 
than thirty (30) days after the publication date of this notice. 
Comments may be submitted by either email or by mail:

         To submit comments:                     Send them to:
By email............................  [email protected].
By mail.............................  Assistant Attorney General, U.S.
                                       DOJ--ENRD, P.O. Box 7611,
                                       Washington, DC 20044-7611.

    During the public comment period, the proposed Consent Decree may 
be examined and downloaded at this Justice Department website: https://www.justice.gov/enrd/consent-decrees. We will provide a paper copy of 
the proposed Consent Decree upon written request and payment of 
reproduction costs. Please mail your request and payment to: Consent 
Decree Library, U.S. DOJ--ENRD, P.O. Box 7611, Washington, DC 20044-
7611. Please enclose a check or money order for $6.00 (25 cents per 
page reproduction

[[Page 1232]]

cost) payable to the United States Treasury.

Thomas Carroll,
Assistant Section Chief, Environmental Enforcement Section, Environment 
and Natural Resources Division.
[FR Doc. 2019-00546 Filed 1-31-19; 8:45 am]