Oil patch officials issue $30M fine against ‘man camp’ operator – EnergyWire

Oil patch officials issue $30M fine against ‘man camp’ operator

Another company in North Dakota’s oil patch is facing a multimillion-dollar fine for housing violations.Williams County officials have issued a nearly $30 million citation against Western Petroleum LLC and parent company Pilot Logistics Services for failing to comply with requirements governing workforce housing.

The county has tried to crack down on construction of these types of facilities — commonly known as “man camps” — in favor of permanent housing, which officials say will better foster community development in the rapidly growing region (EnergyWire, July 1, 2013).

In addition to placing limits on new camps and expansions to existing developments, Williams County fines noncompliant companies $1,000 a day per illegal housing unit, which means penalties can add up quickly, said county Commissioner Wayne Aberle.

The fine against Western and Pilot follows a $2.6 million citation against Stallion Oilfield Services Inc., which the company and county in January negotiated down to $26,000. Although Stallion had added extra units to its camp, the firm said it never exceeded its county-prescribed bed limit and disputed the fine on the basis of having a different reading of the terms of its housing permit (EnergyWire, Jan. 15).

Western and Pilot will have the opportunity to dispute and possibly negotiate their own fine during a July 8 county commission hearing, Aberle said.

The Williams County Planning & Zoning Department calculated the citation and will likely conduct a second inspection before the July meeting, he added.

“We look forward to a cooperative and amicable solution,” said Anne LeZotte, communications manager for Pilot.

Twitter: @pamelalauren | Email: pking@eenews.net

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