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LONDON-The U.K. Environment Agency plans to pursue criminal charges stemming from pollution caused by last year's Sea Empress oil disaster off the coast of south Wales.

The agency would not provide details, but possible targets for prosecution include the Department of Transport's Coastguard Authority, Millford Haven Port Authority, the tanker's operators and the ship's master. The Sea Empress hit rocks last February when attempting to enter Milford Haven Waterway to deliver a cargo of North Sea crude oil to the Texaco Pembroke oil refinery (BI, Feb. 26, 1996). More than 503,850 barrels of crude oil leaked from the ship over the next six days, washing up on 125 miles of coastline.