EPA Settles with Oil and Gas Companies Following Clean Air Act Breach
The EPA has recently settled with two energy companies, Crescent Point Energy and EP Energy for Clean Air Act violations at oil and gas production facilities in the state of Utah.
Crescent Point, the Canadian-based energy company, should pay an amount of $3 million as a civil penalty for breaching the measures to control volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions at 30 oil and gas production facilities that the company owned before.
Meanwhile, EP Energy, the Houston-based energy firm, needs to pay $7,00,000 and implement a $1.2 million mitigation project to control pollution at its facilities. EP Energy's violation extends across 246 production facilities.
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are major components in the formation of ground-level ozone, which cause certain health conditions. The Uinta Basin, where the production facilities are located, is an area that does not comply with the national ambient air quality standards within the Clean Air Act for ground-level ozone.
EP Energy has decided to split its settlement in equal numbers between the United States and Utah and put $2,80,000, Utah's portion, towards the state's Environmental Mitigation and Response Fund for air-quality projects.
EP Energy designs and operates improvements at all the production facilities and installs emission control devices at 36 uncontrolled facilities. The EPA said this would help reduce VOC emissions by around 370 tons per year.
Crescent Point will also evenly split its penalty between the plaintiffs. Its Utah portion allocation amounts to $1.2 million to the state's Environmental Mitigation and Response Fund.
In 2019, Crescent Point sold its assets in Utah facilities and told the Salt Lake Tribune that it agreed to a settlement following a contention due to several interpretations of the Clean Air Act and Utah's Conservation Act. The firm expressed its commitment to meeting regulatory requirements.
The Environmental Protection Agency has been aggressive in enforcing the Clean Air Act, including agreements with chemical corporations Dow and LyondellBasell. The EPA also submitted a proposed consent decree to reassess synthetic organic compound makers' emissions regulations.