- Associated Press - Saturday, April 23, 2016

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Federal prosecutors say a Lafayette-based oil company has agreed to pay more than $700,000 in fines in connection with three crude oil spills in the Atchafalaya River basin.

The U.S. Justice Department announced Friday it had entered a consent decree with ORB Exploration LLC.

The company is accused of violating the Clean Water Act and other environmental laws when crude oil spilled from its facilities in Frog Lake and Crocodile Bayou.

Prosecutors say the spills spewed more than 42,000 gallons of crude oil into the river basin.

Officials say the biggest spill, in 2013, took more than 18 months to clean up. The agreement also requires ORB to take steps to prevent future spills.

A lawyer for ORB could not be reached for comment Friday.

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