Having been engaged to conduct internal environmental investigations by companies into various potential or alleged civil and criminal violations of companies, I took particular notice of the press release issued by Energy Partners, Ltd., set forth below, of the state and federal criminal investigation of the entity's potential criminal violations and the engagement of a law firm to conduct an internal investigation of the facts relating to any allegations of potential violations. It is critical in these situations to engage a firm with significant environmental expertise and experience in conducting internal investigations.
As environmental financial disclosure issues continue to grow in significance and corporate environmental compliance and performance become ever more important to shareholders and other stakeholders, along with the duty of directors to understand the environmental corporate governance of their company, we expect these environmental internal investigations to increase in frequency.
NEW ORLEANS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 08, 2007 Energy Partners, Ltd. ("EPL" or the "Company") NYSE:EPL) today announced that it has retained the law firm of Jones, Walker, Waechter, Poitevent, Carrere & Denegre, L.L.P. to conduct an independent investigation into possible environmental violations at the Company's East Bay field arising out of on-site governmental agency inspections conducted in the field in late 2005 and early 2006. Earlier this week, the Company met with representatives of the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana in New Orleans, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Coast Guard and was informed that they are conducting an investigation into possible criminal violations arising out of those on-site inspections. The Company intends to cooperate fully with the government's investigation and said that operations in the field remain unaffected by the nvestigation.
Founded in 1998, EPL is an independent oil and natural gas exploration and production company based in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Company's operations are focused along the U.S. Gulf Coast, both
onshore in south Louisiana and offshore in the Gulf of Mexico.