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Judge rules against CITGO in oil spill case

LAFAYETTE, La. — A federal judge has shot down efforts by CITGO Petroleum to limit the fines and special conditions it could face in a federal Clean Water Act lawsuit over a June 2006 oil spill at the company’s Lake Charles refinery.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Richard Haik comes in a lawsuit filed against CITGO by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the state Department of Environmental Quality.

The lawsuit seeks damages for a spill that leaked an estimated 53,000 barrels of oil into the Calcasieu River and other nearby waterways.

CITGO has already paid $13 million in fines after pleading guilty in 2008 to a criminal charge.

The trial in the civil case is set for Sept. 1.

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