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Texas to benefit from $1M environmental settlement

BEAUMONT, Texas (AP) -- A Portuguese shipping company has agreed to pay $1 million to settle pollution allegations in East Texas.

U.S. Attorney John Bales on Monday announced the environmental agreement with CIMPSHIP Transportes Maritimos SA., based in Funchal, Portugal. The settlement to benefit forests and marine sanctuaries was announced on the banks of Village Creek in Hardin County.

A federal grand jury in Beaumont indicted the company in 2010 on charges of conspiring to violate environmental laws and pollute waterways.

Investigators say the dispute involved the bulk-freight carrier Niebla that stopped at various Gulf of Mexico ports, including Port Arthur. Prosecutors say crewmembers from March 2008 through August 2009 failed to maintain an oil record book as required by U.S. law.