MONDAY, APRIL 17, 1995                              (202)514-2008
                                               TDD: (202)514-1888
                                                  GWEN BROWN, EPA


                     OIL SPILLS IN SIX STATES

     WASHINGTON, D.C. -- In one of the largest Clean Water cases
ever brought, the Department of Justice, the Environmental
Protection Agency, and the United States Coast Guard today
announced the filing of a civil suit against Kansas-based Koch
Industries and several of its subdivisions for unlawfully
discharging millions of gallons of oil into the waters of six
states.  One of the largest and most environmentally harmful spills
occurred in the Corpus Christi Bay along Texas' eastern coast, an
area increasingly popular with college students on spring break. 
Other spills polluted waters, including wetlands, across the states
of Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Missouri and Alabama.  

     The action, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Southern District of Texas, charges that, since 1990, Koch and its
subsidiaries were responsible for more than 300 separate oil
spills.  The suit is being brought under the Clean Water Act, as
amended by the Oil Pollution Act of 1990.  The complaint seeks
penalties and a court order to require Koch to take such actions as
are necessary to protect U.S. waters and to eliminate future

     Koch Industries, headquartered in Wichita, Kansas, operates
pipelines that transport crude oil and related products from oil
fields to refineries and tank farms.  The spills occurred primarily
as a result of breaks in gathering lines caused by corrosion. 

     "Companies must take steps in advance, to prevent, detect, and
mitigate such environmentally damaging spills," said Lois Schiffer,
the Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice's
Environment and Natural Resources Division.  "Our filing sends that
message, loud and clear."

     "Today's action is another illustration of the Federal
Government's on-going commitment to assure clean water and land for
all Americans by taking effective action against commercial
polluters who discharge oil and other hazardous substances in the
environment," said Steven A. Herman, EPA's Assistant Administrator
for Enforcement and Compliance Assurance.

     Laboratory studies have extensively documented the adverse
effects of even small amounts of oil -- less than 1 part per
million -- on a variety of organisms which provide food for fish. 
In addition, floating oil sheens can asphyxiate fish and animals
that live at the bottom of lakes and rivers (benthic fauna), harm
waterfowl, and may cause economic loss through the fouling of
shorelines and beaches.  The spills in this case damaged waters,
fish and waterfowl in various bays, lakes, rivers and streams.
     Gaynell Griffin Jones, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern
District of Texas, where the case was filed, applauded the filing
and said "the U.S. Attorney's Office is dedicated to taking all
necessary legal steps to protect our invaluable and irreplacable
natural resources.