The State of Colorado, U.S. EPA, and U.S. Department of Justice announced this week a settlement with Denver-based PDC Energy, Inc. resolving Clean Air Act violations cited in a civil complaint. The June complaint alleged that PDC violated requirements to reduce volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from its oil and gas exploration and production activities in the Denver area. The case arose from a series of Colorado inspections that found significant VOC emissions from PDC’s condensate storage tanks.
Under the settlement, PDC will spend an estimated $18 million on system upgrades, improved operations and maintenance practices, monitoring, and inspections to reduce emissions. PDC also will be required to implement environmental mitigation projects at certain sites to further reduce VOC and nitrogen oxide emissions at a cost of $1.7 million. The settlement includes a $2.5 million civil penalty, which will be split evenly between the United States and the State of Colorado. The state’s share of the penalty may be offset by up to $1 million by performing one or more state-only supplemental environmental projects.
The consent decree, lodged in the District Court of Colorado, is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval. It will be available for viewing here.
More on the settlement is here.