Oil Well operator in Hart County charged a second time for violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act
BOWLING GREEN, KY – A federal grand jury returned an indictment on October 13, 2021, charging Charles L. Stinson and Logsdon Valley Oil, Inc., a/k/a Hart Petroleum, with a violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act.
According to the indictment, Stinson, 84, of Horse Cave, Kentucky, and the company, Logsdon Valley Oil, Inc., on or about September 13, 2019, willfully injected fluids into a sinkhole that was not permitted and authorized by rule for underground injection, at Payton #7 East lease, permit number KYI0420.
Court records show that Stinson and Logsdon Valley Oil, Inc., had previously been indicted and convicted for violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act in federal court in Case Number 1:12CR-12-M, in 2013, at the Payton #7 East lease. Stinson pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit violations of an underground injection control program. In his plea agreement, entered in open court on October 10, 2013, Stinson agreed that it was a part of the conspiracy that he would configure piping to convey fluids from the tank battery to a sinkhole and convey fluids into sinkholes, in violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act. In furtherance of the conspiracy, Stinson and coconspirators improperly conveyed fluids into sinkholes on Payton #7 East lease. Logsdon Valley Oil, Inc. was also convicted of two counts of violation of an underground injection control program.
In the current indictment, Stinson and Logsdon Valley are charged with one violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act in violation of Title 42, United States Code, Section 300h-2(b)(2). The defendant is scheduled for an initial court appearance on October 27, 2021, before United States Magistrate Judge H. Brent Brennenstuhl.
If convicted, Stinson faces up to 3 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, and up to 3 years of supervised release. Logsdon Valley Oil is subject to a $500,000 fine and up to 3 years of supervised release. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Acting U.S. Attorney Michael A. Bennett and Special Agent in Charge Charles Carfagno of EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division in Atlanta, Georgia made the announcement.
The Criminal Investigative Division of the United States Environmental Protection Agency is investigating the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua Judd is prosecuting the case.