Oil Well Operators Indicted

Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 05:03 PM gHale

Two oil well operators are facing a six-count federal indictment for violating the Safe Drinking Water Act.

The indictment handed up by a federal grand jury in Bowling Green, KY, said from March 13, 2008 to June 29, 2010 Charles L. Stinson of Horse Cave and Ralph Dowell of Edmonton conspired with each other and others, to violate the Safe Drinking Water Act by configuring piping to inject fluids brought to the surface in connection with oil production from the tank battery to sinkholes and injecting produced brine water into sinkholes, in violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act.

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The indictment said Stinson and Dowell, and the corporation Logsdon Valley Oil Company, Inc., improperly conveyed and injected produced water into sinkholes in Hart County on March 13, 2008, December 10, 2009, May 24, 2010, and on June 29, 2010.

Federal Regulations say “no owner or operator shall construct, operate, maintain, convert, plug, abandon, or conduct any other injection activity in a manner which allows the movement of fluid containing any contaminant into underground sources of drinking water, if the presence of that contaminant may cause a violation of any primary drinking water regulation under 40 CFR part 142 or may otherwise adversely affect the health of persons.”

Charges against Stinson and Dowell are in violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act on oil production leases in Hart County. “Underground injection endangers drinking water sources if such injection may result in the presence in underground water which supplies or can reasonably be expected to supply any public water system of any contaminant, and if the presence of such contaminant may result in such system’s not complying with any national primary drinking water regulation or may otherwise adversely affect the health of persons.”

If convicted, the maximum penalties for Stinson and Dowell are 20 years in prison, a $1.5 million fine, and supervised release for a period of 3 years.

Stinson and Dowell will appear for arraignment before the United States Magistrate Judge March 28, in Bowling Green.

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