A Mississippi man who was in charge of an oil and gas production platform has pleaded guilty to the negligent discharge of a hazardous substance into the Gulf of Mexico.
United States Attorney Duane A. Evans announced that Patrick Huse, 40, of Perkinston, pleaded guilty on Friday to violation of Title 33, United States Code, Section 1321(b)(3) and 1319(c) (1)(A ).
According to the guilty plea, Huse was employed as a “responsible person” (“PIC”) on Main Pass 310A (“MP-310A”), an oil and gas production platform. In July 2015, MP-310A workers noticed a sheen on the surface of the water surface surrounding the rig. The burst meant the rig was discharging oil or other hazardous substances into the Gulf of Mexico. The workers alerted HUSE, a PIC on MP-310A. Workers told HUSE they believe the splinter was the result of sand buildup in the MP-310A’s filtration equipment. HUSE ordered workers to remove sand buildup from filtration equipment instead of a complete shutdown, hoping the splinter would dissipate. These measures did not prevent the platform from shining, so the workers closed the platform by an emergency stop of the whole platform.
Huse faces a maximum prison sentence of one year, a fine of $2,500 to $25,000 per day of violation, a maximum term of supervised release of up to one year and a mandatory special assessment fee. of $25. Sentencing was set by District Judge Barry Ashe for July 7, 2022.
United States Attorney Evans commended the work of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Interior’s Office of Inspector General, Energy Investigations Unit, in the investigation of this case. Assistant United States Attorneys Spiro G. Latsis and J. Ryan McLaren are charged with the prosecution.