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January 29, 2009

Contact: 
    Roger Alexander
    307-775-6047

BLM investigates illegal dumping near Pinedale

Illegal dumping of oil near the town of Pinedale, Wyo., has cost a Wyoming man $525 in fines and his job.

On Jan. 14, 2009, EOG Resources notified BLM that an oil spill and illegal dumping had occurred at one of its storage facilities near Pinedale.

Video cameras at the storage facility showed a truck driver delivering the day's last load of oil at the EOG Resources storage facility on Jan. 13 and then leaving the site in his vehicle. The truck driver had unknowingly tried to off-load the oil into a full storage tank and it spilled approximately 8 barrels of oil, which was contained within the earthen berm surrounding the facility.

When EOG Resources discovered the spill on the morning of Jan. 14, they also discovered an area where oil had been sprayed over a pile of dirt and a trail of oil leaving the location. The sprayed area appeared to be the result of somebody cleaning their truck's oil tank, and the trail of oil indicated that the truck driver had left the shutoff valve open as he drove off. Approximately one to two barrels of oil had been sprayed and leaked in the area, which is in the Dry Piney Creek drainage.

When contacted by his employer, the truck driver denied his involvement, but when questioned by BLM Law Enforcement, the truck driver admitted that he had cleaned out the truck's oil tank and left the valve open as he drove away, stating that he'd seen other drivers do it.

In addition to losing his job, the truck driver was issued a Federal Violation Notice for draining petroleum products near a water source. A total of $525 in fines resulted from the violation.

BLM Wyoming investigates all reports of illegal dumping on public lands and will issue violation notices and/or prosecute to the full extent of the law. Incidents of illegal dumping should be reported to the local BLM Field Office or local Sheriff’s Department.

The BLM manages more land - 258 million acres - than any other Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western States, including Alaska. The Bureau, with a budget of about $1 billion, also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM’s multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. The Bureau accomplishes this by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production, and by conserving natural, historical, cultural, and other resources on public lands.

- BLM -