FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                         ENR
THURSDAY, MARCH 6, 1997                            (202) 514-2008
                                               TDD (202) 514-1888

                 FOR 1994 CHEMICAL PIPELINE LEAK

             Land Declared Protected Wildlife Habitat

     WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Conoco Inc. today agreed to restore 41
acres of streamside habitat on the Calcasieu Basin near Lake
Charles, Louisiana, at an estimated cost of $150,000, the United
States announced.  The agreement resolves allegations that a Conoco
chemical pipeline leak contaminated the Calcasieu River in
southwestern Louisiana, damaging natural resources and wildlife
habitat in the area.

     Under today's settlement, Lake Charles-based Conoco Inc. will
restore natural resources in the Calcasieu Basin.  The restoration
project, located approximately seven miles from where the pipeline
leak occured, includes resurrecting wetlands and other streamside
habitat that supports countless varieties of fish, wildlife and
plants, including hardwood trees.  The restored wildlife habitat
will be managed and protected for 50 years.  The restoration
project was selected by Conoco and approved by a task force that
included the governor's office, several local governments, citizens
groups, and industry representatives.

     "Restoring and protecting natural resources is essential to
maintaining a clean, healthy environment," said Lois Schiffer,
Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Justice Department's
Environment and Natural Resources Division.  "Our Nation's
environmental laws are the tools that allow us to protect human
health and the environment across America in communities like Lake

     In a complaint filed today along with the settlement in U.S.
District Court in Shreveport, the United States alleged that in
March 1994, 1.6 million pounds of a toxic chemical, known as
ethylene dichloride, leaked into the Calasieu River from a buried
section of pipeline.  The pipeline connects the Conoco Marine
Terminal with a storage tank at Conoco's Westlake facility.  Once
the leak was discovered, Conoco began an emergency cleanup under
the direction of the U.S. Coast Guard, Environmental Protection
Agency, and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality. 
Today's settlement, if approved by the court, would resolve the
government's lawsuit.

     The spill contaminated part of the Calcasieu River that is
home to several species of fish, turtles, and birds.  The area
affected by the spill is expected to return to its pre-spill
condition through natural recovery within three years.  Because the
area damaged by the spill will recover naturally in a short period
of time, Conoco agreed to perform a separate natural resources
restoration project.

     The proposed settlement, known as a consent decree, will be
published in the Federal Register.  Any person may submit written
comments concerning the proposed decree during the 30 day comment
period to the Assistant Attorney General, Environment and Natural
Resources Division, U.S. Department of Justice, 950 Pennsylvania
Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20530.