Exxon seeks reconsideration of $1 million penalty over Yellowstone River spill

Exxon Mobil Corp. has asked federal regulators to reconsider a $1 million penalty imposed against the oil giant over a 63,000-gallon crude spill into Montana's Yellowstone River.

The Texas-based company asked the Department of Transportation to withdraw three of its four findings of pipeline safety violations. It also asked for the penalty amount to be reduced.

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Safety regulators said Exxon Mobil failed to adequately heed warnings that its 20-year-old Silvertip Pipeline was at risk from flooding.

An Exxon attorney said in the petition for reconsideration filed Feb. 12 that the company was justified in determining flooding was not a great danger following a 2010 risk assessment.

That conclusion proved wrong. The spill left oil along an 85-mile stretch of the Yellowstone, killing fish and wildlife and prompting a cleanup that took months.