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Company Self-Discloses Air Violations

Release Date: 12/10/2012
Contact Information: Michael Ardito; ardito.michael@epa.gov; 415-972-3081

Vintage Oil and Gas Production near Bakersfield, California agrees to pay fine

SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced that Vintage Production California LLC, a major oil and gas production company and subsidiary of OXY USA Inc., has agreed to pay $34,000 to resolve violations of the Clean Air Act related to greenhouse gas emissions at the Kern Front Oil Field located north of Bakersfield.

The violations were identified and self-disclosed by Vintage, and occurred in late 2011, when the company constructed three steam generators at the oil field without first obtaining a permit for greenhouse gas emissions under the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permitting program.

Last month EPA granted authority to the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District to issue PSD permits to sources within its jurisdiction. Companies can now obtain all necessary air permits from the local air agency. Vintage will obtain the necessary PSD permit for the steam generators from the District. While the PSD program has been in place for decades, permitting requirements for greenhouse gases became applicable in 2011.

“Companies need to be mindful of the relatively new permitting requirements,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “Now that EPA has approved the Prevention of Significant Deterioration permit program for the San Joaquin Valley, it simplifies the process.”

PSD is a preconstruction permitting program that applies to large stationary sources of air pollution. Before beginning construction of a project that is subject to PSD requirements, the owner or operator of the facility must obtain a permit that specifies how the facility will use the Best Available Control Technology to reduce air emissions.

For more information about the PSD program, please visit: http://epa.gov/region09/air/permit/psd-public-part.html

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