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ConocoPhillips agrees to resolve Clean Air Act violations in Colorado

Release Date: 02/04/2010
Contact Information: Hans Buenning, EPA, 303-312-6486, buenning.hans@epa.gov

Natural gas producer will pay $175,000 penalty and reduce emissions

(Denver, Colo. – Feb. 4, 2010) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced a Clean Air Act settlement in which ConocoPhillips Company agreed to install pollution control equipment and implement other emission reduction practices that will reduce harmful emissions and conserve natural gas at their Argenta and Sunnyside Compressor Stations located on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation in the San Juan Basin near Ignacio, Colorado.

The agreement requires the company to pay $175,000 in civil penalties. It also mandates air pollution reduction and conservation practices at the two natural gas compressor stations and associated well heads leading to the facilities.

According to a complaint filed with the settlement, the company allegedly violated provisions of the Title V Federal Operating Permit Program of the Clean Air Act. The company has worked cooperatively with EPA to appropriately resolve these violations.

“The settlement will formalize ConocoPhillips Company’s commitment to reduce emissions of carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, air toxics and greenhouse gases, while conservation measures help return valuable natural gas to the marketplace,” said Carol Rushin, EPA’s Region 8 Acting Regional Administrator.

The control measures and operational improvements are expected to:

    Reduce air pollution emissions, including greenhouse gases and hazardous air pollutants, by more than 500 tons annually
    Reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including methane, equivalent to taking more than 1,100 cars off the road each year
    Conserve enough natural gas to heat approximately 220 homes annually

As part of the settlement, ConocoPhillips has agreed to:

    Retrofit the remaining six large uncontrolled engines at the two compressor stations with catalytic oxidation control systems
    Retrofit or replace existing pneumatic controls with lower emitting components
    Implement a program to detect and repair leaking equipment at the two compressor stations using an infrared camera capable of detecting emissions of volatile organic compounds

For a copy of the Final Order, contact Tina Artemis at 303-312-6765.

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