Virginia issues violation notice to Dominion Virginia Power for oil spill

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Dominion Virginia Power could face financial penalties and reimbursement costs for a mineral oil spill that fouled a portion of the Potomac River, state environmental officials said Friday.

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality issued a notice of violation for the spill, a first step to ensure that the power company is held accountable for the spill.

A transformer failure at a substation in Crystal City led to the release of 13,500 gallons of mineral oil. The DEQ reports of a sheen on the river on Feb. 3. A portion of the spill eventually ended up along the banks of the Potomac River and in the river itself.

DEQ said 29 fish and waterfowl were found dead after the spill.

In a statement, Dominion said it had accepted responsibility for the spill, adding that "more than 95" percent of the oil had been recovered.

The DEQ said the state can assess civil penalties at the rate $100 per gallon and require corrective reaction involving any environmental damage.