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Colorado-based Whiting Oil and Gas Corporation has agreed to pay $58,570 to the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund for violating the Clean Water Act after an oil spill in Arkansas in September last year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced last week.

The federal agency and the oil and gas company reached a consent agreement regarding the release of 820 barrels of crude oil in an incident that occurred in Ouachita County more than a year ago. The oil ended up in Smackover Creek and affected adjacent shorelines. The agency noted that the spill of crude oil also led to the corrosion of the bank which in turn caused a fracture in the pipeline leading to the creek's tributary.

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The discharge of oil or any other hazardous substances in U.S. waterways is unlawful according to the Clean Water Act, the EPA explained in an official press statement. Any company that allows such substances to leak in quantities that are potentially harmful to public health or the environment will be treated as an offender and will be expected to pay a penalty. In this particular case, the fine will be deposited into the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, which is used to cover the expenses for response activities and to compensate for damages that may have occurred in result of a spill, the EPA stated.