ExxonMobil Fined

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ExxonMobil Fined

SAN FRANCISCO -- Exxon Mobil Corp. will pay $4.7 million to the California and federal governments for a 1991 oil spill in the Santa Clara River under a settlement announced yesterday.

A pipeline rupture beneath the Valencia Golf Course released more than 1,700 barrels of crude oil into a 15-mile stretch of the river between Ventura and Los Angeles counties, the Associated Press reported.

The spill oiled more than 290 birds, 186 of which died. It also killed other animals near the river and harmed endangered fish, said Laurie Williams, an attorney for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The bulk of the money will go toward habitat restoration. The rest will be paid as fines.

The settlement was filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles. A 30-day comment period is to follow. The company will not have to pay any funds until the comment period ends, the report said.

The spill occurred when the pipeline was operated by the former Mobil Oil Co., before its merger with Exxon. ExxonMobil has yet to comment on the settlement.