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The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality has issued a second notice of violation to Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, significantly increasing the potential fines facing the company as a result of groundwater contamination from a July 30 pipeline break.
The first violation, issued by ADEQ Sept. 11, covered the one-time discharge of petroleum products to surface waters of the state. That violation carried a maximum penalty of $25,000 under state law. The notice issued today charges the company with a violation of groundwater quality standards.
"The discovery of groundwater contamination resulting from the pipeline break adds substantially to the company's liability for cleanup and damages," said ADEQ director Steve Owens. "Each day that the contamination spreads raises the associated penalty."
As part of its efforts to assess and cleanup the site, ADEQ has requested details from Kinder Morgan concerning its calculations for the amount of gasoline discharged from the pipeline break. That discharge was initially estimated at 10,000 gallons, but has since been revised by Kinder Morgan to more than 16,000 gallons.
In the notice issued today, ADEQ directed the company to provide detailed calculations and methods within five working days.