FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                         ENR
THURSDAY, JULY 18, 1996                            (202) 616-2771
                                               TDD (202) 514-1888



WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Two oil and natural gas pipeline companies
will spend nearly $3 million to restore fish, wildlife and other
natural resources -- including some of the world's most rare
species -- that were injured by a 1993 oil spill near the border
of Indiana and Ohio.  The announcement was made by officials from
the Justice Department, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and
the States of Indiana and Ohio and included discussion of
potential restoration activities to return one of the Great
Lakes' most important watersheds to its pre-spill condition.
     The agreement calls for ARCO Pipe Line Company, a subsidiary
of Atlantic Richfield Company, and NORCO Pipeline, Inc. to pay
$2.5 million in natural resource damages and to reimburse the
government some $289,000 for damage assessment costs related to a
spill of over 30,000 gallons of diesel fuel from a ruptured
underground pipeline in September, 1993.  Oil from the pipeline
flowed into Fish Creek and damaged animals, plants, water,
shoreline areas and the streambed over a popular seven-mile
stretch from DeKalb County, Indiana to Williams County, Ohio. 
The settlement was filed today in a U.S. District Court in Fort
Wayne, Indiana.

     The $2.8 million represents a full recovery for the injuries
caused by the oil spill.  The money will go toward improving the
water quality in Fish Creek, bringing back fish, mussel and
wildlife populations to pre-spill levels, implementing local
education programs, and protecting the waterway from future harm. 
 One species, the white cat's paw pearly mussel, is so rare that
Fish Creek is the only place in the world where it is known to

     "While it is preferable that we prevent pollution of our
nation's waters, this case shows that our waters can be restored
when there is an oil spill," said Lois J. Schiffer, Assistant
Attorney General in charge of the Justice Department's
Environment Division.  
"With this restoration, the citizens of Indiana and Ohio can once
again enjoy this peaceful stream and its biodiversity."  
"The cooperative efforts by state and federal governments were 
tremendous in this case and the main reason why we see such 
tangible benefits here for the people of nearby communities."

     "When oil invaded Fish Creek, it menaced not just precious
fish and wildlife resources but the pride of many local residents
along this remarkable waterway who have worked long and hard to
hold on to a piece of their natural heritage," said William
Hartwig, Regional Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 
"With this settlement, the Service and our partners in Ohio and
Indiana will restore and improve the natural assets of Fish
Creek, and renew the hopes of the people who would pass its
values on to the next generation."

     Fish Creek, a tributary of the St. Joseph River, is
considered one of the Great Lakes region's most diverse and
ecologically important streams.  Following the spill, biologists
found that oil had killed a variety of wildlife including
muskrats, migratory birds such as wood ducks and kingfishers,
sport and non-game fish, crayfish and frogs.  In addition, the
spill threatened the stream's important supply of freshwater
mussels or clams, which act as natural water purifiers and are
acutely sensitive to pollutants.  Of the 30 species of mussels
supported by the stream, three endangered species have been the
main concern of government biologists.   

     "Indiana considers Fish Creek a very high priority watershed
conservation effort," said Patrick R. Ralston, Director of the
Indiana Department of Natural Resources.  "We were extensively
involved in a public/private partnership to conserve this rare
natural area even before the spill occurred.  Since the spill, we
have made every effort, along with trustee partners, to recover
damages and restore this area."

     "We view this as a significant settlement which will help
participating agencies continue their work in wildlife
restoration under guidelines of the Fish Creek Watershed
Project," said Michael Budzik, Chief of the Ohio Division of
Wildlife.  "Since a tree planting effort was initiated in 1993
along a 3-mile section of Fish Creek to stabilize banks and
reduce sediment, we have continued our support to protect
endangered mussels and other wildlife resources."

     "This cooperative approach among state and federal agencies
in response to the oil spill in this unique watershed exemplifies
our continued efforts to address environmental problems by
forging partnerships," said Michael O'Connor, Commissioner of the
Indiana Department of Environmental Management.  "This unique
benchmark settlement will facilitate the continued efforts to 
restore and preserve the ecosystem integrity of Fish Creek."

     Funds from the settlement may be used by the agencies to
restore, replace, rehabilitate or acquire the equivalent of
natural resources injured by the oil spill.  Restoration
activities for improving Fish Creek's water quality may include
planting trees in the floodplain and restoring valuable wetlands. 
Innovative techniques such as conservation tillage -- a form of
cultivating the soil that reduces soil erosion and runoff  -- may
also be used.  Another focus likely will be the recovery of freshwater
mussels possibly through artificial propagation and introduction of
surviving mussels to new sites.  

     "Among our highest priorities is safeguarding the resources
that sustain us all," added Hartwig.  "Laws like the Oil
Pollution Act ensure that when resources are harmed, the cost of
putting things right is borne not by the American taxpayer but by
those who had a role in causing the injury."

     The 1990 Oil Pollution Act was passed in the wake of the
1989 Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska's Prince William Sound. 
Prompted by the worst oil spill in U.S. history, this law
introduced a "polluter pays" mechanism to cover cleanup and
restoration costs.  Natural Resource Damage Assessment and
Restoration provisions require the government to determine the
extent of natural resource injury done by an oil spill and sets
the appropriate level of compensation.  Responsible parties may
compensate the public for injured resources through funding or
in-kind services.