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Company Ordered to Pay $1 Million for Illegal Oil Discharge

A federal court has ordered an oil and gas company to pay one million dollars for an unauthorized oil discharge near Rawlins in 2011.

U.S. District Judge Alan Johnson ordered Nadel and Gussman Rockies, LLC (NGR) to pay criminal fines, restitution, and payments to Carbon County for its violations of the Clean Water Act. The company illegally discharged nearly 5,000 gallons of crude oil into a tributary of the North Platte River near Rawlins. NGR’s Operations Manager at the time, Hugo Cartaya, did not report the spill to authorities until after federal agencies began their investigation and clean-up work.   

The money the company pays will be used to improve oil spill response activities and conservation efforts and the company will also have to implement new measures to ensure proper compliance with environmental regulations in the future.

Cartaya will be in court in February on eight felony counts related to the case.

Irina Zhorov is a reporter for Wyoming Public Radio. She earned her BA from the University of Pennsylvania and an MFA from the University of Wyoming. In between, she worked as a photographer and writer for Philadelphia-area and national publications. Her professional interests revolve around environmental and energy reporting and she's reported on mining issues from Wyoming, Mexico, and Bolivia. She's been supported by the Dick and Lynn Cheney Grant for International Study, the Eleanor K. Kambouris Grant, and the Social Justice Research Center Research Grant for her work on Bolivian mining and Uzbek alpinism. Her work has appeared on Voice of America, National Native News, and in Indian Country Today, among other publications.

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