WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Kirby Inland Marine LP has agreed to pay $4.9 million in civil penalties to settle claims stemming from a 4,000-barrel oil spill in the Houston Ship Channel in March 2014, the U.S. Justice Department said on Tuesday.

The company, a subsidiary of Kirby Corp, also agreed to implement operating improvements across its hundreds of vessels operating in U.S. inland waters, the department said in a statement.

(Reporting by Tim Ahmann; Writing by Eric Walsh; Editing by Susan Heavey)