Energy, Utilities & Water  April 23, 2019

EPA, state reach settlement with HighPoint over emissions

DENVER — HighPoint Operating Corp. will pay $3.55 million in a settlement agreement reached with federal and state environmental regulators over emissions from the company’s oil and gas tanks along the Front Range.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment had filed a lawsuit against HighPoint in U.S. District Court in Denver, Friday, alleging that HighPoint violated the Clean Air Act by not properly controlling emissions from its tanks in the Denver-Julesburg Basin, including tanks in Adams and Weld counties.

Settlement of the lawsuit — first reported by the Denver Business Journal — requires HighPoint to pay $3 million to improve pollution controls and civil penalties totalling $550,000, half paid to the federal government and half paid to Colorado.

“As part of the Department’s continued effort to safeguard and improve air quality, we remain committed to reducing the emissions of volatile organic compounds that contribute to high levels of ground-level ozone and so endanger the public health,” Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Bossert Clark said in a prepared statement. “This settlement reflects the progress that can be made when the federal government engages in cooperative endeavors with its state partners.”

EPA Acting Regional Administrator Deb Thomas said, “This settlement reflects EPA’s continued efforts with the Department of Justice, the State of Colorado and oil and gas producers to secure Clean Air Act compliance and reduce emissions that are contributing to high levels of ground-level ozone in communities across Colorado’s Front Range.”

Among the new emissions controls, HighPoint must “implement measures that will ensure the vapor control systems on its condensate storage tanks are adequately designed and sized and will improve its operation and maintenance practices, monitoring, and inspections,” according to a press release announcing the settlement.

The EPA and Colorado health officials estimate that the improvements, along with increased monitoring, will reduce volatile organic compounds from HighPoint’s operations by 350 tons per year.

The consent decree is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval. The consent decree is available for public viewing.

DENVER — HighPoint Operating Corp. will pay $3.55 million in a settlement agreement reached with federal and state environmental regulators over emissions from the company’s oil and gas tanks along the Front Range.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment had filed a lawsuit against HighPoint in U.S. District Court in Denver, Friday, alleging that HighPoint violated the Clean Air Act by not properly controlling emissions from its tanks in the Denver-Julesburg Basin, including tanks in Adams and Weld counties.

Settlement of the lawsuit — first reported by the Denver Business Journal

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