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Top-10 DOJ Environmental Fraud Settlements for 2017

Posted  January 18, 2018

Here is our look-back at the top-10 Department of Justice environmental fraud settlements for 2017.  Click here for a full chronological listing of all DOJ fraud settlements for 2017.

  1. Volkswagen AG — The German auto maker agreed to plead guilty to three criminal felony counts and pay a $2.8 billion criminal penalty as a result of the company’s long-running scheme to sell approximately 590,000 diesel vehicles in the U.S. by using a defeat device to cheat on emissions tests mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board, and lying and obstructing justice to further the scheme. In separate civil resolutions of environmental, customs and financial claims, VW also agreed to pay $1.5 billion for a total payout of $4.3 billion in criminal and civil penalties. DOJ
  2. NCR Corporation — The company agreed to complete one of the nation’s largest Superfund cleanup projects at Wisconsin’s Lower Fox River and Green Bay Site.  The final phase of cleanup taken on by NCR will cost up to $200 million or more over the next few years.  The total cleanup costs for the Fox River Site will exceed $1 billionDOJ
  3. Freeport-McMoRan, Inc. — The company’s subsidiaries Cyprus Amax Minerals Companyand Western Nuclear, Inc. agreed to the cleanup of 94 abandoned uranium mines on the Navajo Nation in a settlement valued at over $600 millionDOJ
  4. Princess Cruise Lines Ltd. — The cruise line was sentenced to pay a $40 million penalty related to illegal dumping of oil contaminated waste and falsification of official logs in order to conceal the discharges.  It was the largest-ever penalty for crimes involving deliberate vessel pollution.  DOJ
  5. Magellan Pipeline Company — The company agreed to roughly $16 million worth of injunctive relief across its 11,000 mile pipeline system and to pay a $2 million civil penalty to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Water Act related to gasoline, diesel and jet fuel spills in Texas, Nebraska and Kansas. DOJ
  6. Pharmacia LLC — The company (formerly known as Monsanto), Solutia Inc., ExxonMobil Oil Corp. and Cerro Flow Products agreed as responsible parties to spend roughly $14.8 million to clean up six former waste disposal sites that comprise the Sauget Area 1 Superfund Site in Sauget, St. Clair County, Illinois.  DOJ
  7. Wood Group PSN Inc. — The Houston-based company was ordered to pay $7 million for falsely reporting over several years that personnel had performed safety inspections on offshore facilities in the Gulf of Mexico in the Western District of Louisiana, and $1.8 million for negligently discharging oil into the Gulf of Mexico in violation of the Clean Water Act after an explosion on an offshore facility.  The company was also ordered to pay $700,000 for community service projects in the areas where the criminal conduct took place, for a total payout of $9.5 million.  DOJ
  8. XIK, LLC — The company, along with Honeywell International, Inc. andDomtar, Inc., agreed to pay $8.2 million to resolve a claim for natural resource damages at the St. Louis River/Interlake/Duluth Tar Superfund Site brought under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), also known as the Superfund Law.  The polluted site consists of 255 acres of land and river embayments located primarily in Duluth, Minnesota, and extends into the St. Louis River, including Stryker Bay.  DOJ
  9. Egyptian Tanker Company — The Egyptian company and Singapore-based Thome Ship Management pleaded guilty and agreed to pay a $1.9 million penalty for violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS) and for obstruction of justice for covering up the illegal dumping of oil-contaminated bilge water and garbage from one of their ships into the sea. DOJ
  10. Oceanfleet Shipping Limited — The Greek shipping company along with Oceanic Illsabe Limited were sentenced to pay corporate penalties totaling $2.7 million after being convicted for obstructing justice, violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships, tampering with witnesses and conspiracy.  DOJ

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Tagged in: Environmental Fraud, Top 10,