Lafayette

Mar 8, 2012 10:25 AM by AP

Energy company pleads to violations at refuge site

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) - Apollo Energy has pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts of violations of a wildlife refuge special use permit pertaining to the company's drilling operations in the Atchafalaya National Wildlife Refuge.

The Advertiser reports Wednesday's guilty plea exposes the company to a possible maximum fine of $400,000, although its plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney's Office outlines possible payments of $25,000 to The Nature Conservatory and a total of $65,000 in fines.

The violations stem from the company's special use permit to manage the Happytown field for the production of petroleum products within the St. Martin Parish refuge.

The company has been operating on the refuge since February 2005.

The U.S. Attorney's Office filed a bill of information charging the company with four violations in September 2011.

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