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Two Kentucky oil well operators who pleaded guilty to violating the Safe Drinking Water Act were spared prison but sentenced earlier this month to probation and fines.

Charles L. Stinson, 75, of Horse Cave, Kentucky, and Ralph Dowell, 75, of Edmonton, Kentucky, operators of Logsdon Valley Oil Co. Inc., were ordered by a federal judge to serve two years’ probation.

Stinson and Logsdon Valley Oil Co. Inc., were ordered to pay fines for the continued conspiracy to inject fluids, without a permit, into sinkholes and wells, located in Hart County, Kentucky, from 2008 through 2012, in violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act.

According to the plea agreement, Stinson and Logsdon Valley Oil Co. Inc., agreed to a fine of $45,000 to be paid at sentencing.

Stinson was to pay the fine personally, with $25,000 paid to the Commonwealth of Kentucky, $10,000 to the Environmental Protection Agency, and $10,000 to the United States.

Stinson also agreed to provide adequate documentation to EPA that the Stinson #6 (the well used for illegal injection) is plugged and abandoned in such a manner that protects underground sources of drinking water from contamination.

Stinson and Dowell were charged two years ago in an eight-count federal indictment with conspiring to violate the Safe Drinking Water Act.

They pleaded guilty to violating a requirement of an applicable underground injection control program.