Companies reach agreement in fatal blast

Thursday, December 12, 2002

SEATTLE -- Two companies have agreed to pay tens of millions of dollars to settle criminal charges over a 1999 pipeline blast that killed three people.

Equilon Pipeline, which ran Olympic Pipeline Co. at the time of the Olympic pipeline blast, agreed to pay $25 million, $5 million of which can be offset through community service.

Equilon pleaded no contest Wednesday to one count of violating the pipeline safety law and one count of violating the clean water law.

It was not immediately clear how much Shell Pipeline LP would pay.

"We believe this is a fair and just settlement and that it brings us all closer to moving beyond this terrible tragedy," Olympic board Chairman Lawrence B. Peck said in a news release. A Shell spokesman did not immediately return a call Wednesday.

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