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Ex-EPA Official Faults Probe of BP Alaska Oil Spill

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The former head of an EPA criminal probe into pipeline spills at a BP PLC oil field in Alaska claims the Justice Department prematurely shut down the investigation and settled with the company for less than the case may have warranted.

Scott West, a former special agent-in-charge of the EPA's criminal-investigation division in Seattle who supervised a team of investigators, said he needed as much as another year to determine if, in fact, "there was sufficient evidence to charge BP with a felony." Mr. West said his agents still had large volumes of evidence to go through to make that determination.

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