EPA, Colorado reach $21 million-plus settlement with Denver-based oil and gas company for VOC emission pollution.

November 30, 2017

A Denver-based oil and gas company has reached a $21 million-plus settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency and Colorado regulators for leaking smog-causing pollutants (volatile organic compounds) into the air from its operation sites around the city dating back roughly four years according to an October 31, 2017 Denver Post report.

As part of the agreement, PDC Energy Inc. – one of the largest oil and gas drillers along the Front Range – has agreed to pay a $2.5 million civil penalty that will be split between the federal government and Colorado.

It will also spend $18 million on system upgrades and improved maintenance practices, monitoring and inspections to reduce emissions, as well a $1.7 million to implement environmental mitigation projects.

“This agreement will result in cleaner air in the Denver area,” EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said in a written statement.

The settlement stems from the regulators’ findings that PDC’s roughly 650 oil and gas tank batteries in the Denver area were leeching volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said it found violations dating back to 2013.

Volatile organic compounds contribute to the formation of smog or ground-level ozone – already a problem for the metro area – and can lead to respiratory illnesses, such as pneumonia and bronchitis. PDC, as part of its agreement with the government, has agreed to evaluate the design and capacity of its vapor control systems and to modify them as necessary to ensure they are not emitting harmful VOCs.

As part of that analysis, the company will have to make periodic infrared camera inspections to identify any emissions.

What this means to you
A Denver-based oil and gas company has reached a $21 million-plus settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency and Colorado regulators for leaking volatile organic compounds into the air from its operation sites around the city dating back roughly four years.

MIRATECH can help
Contact MIRATECH for stationary engine emission solutions in oil and gas applications.