Justice, EPA reach settlements affecting Fort Lupton gas facility

FORT LUPTON — The Department of Justice and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has reached Clean Air Act settlements with natural gas processors in three areas, including a facility at Fort Lupton.

Combined, the three settlements amount to a $9.25 million civil penalty plus requirements to improve operations to reduce air pollution.

“Today’s settlements will significantly reduce harmful emissions of ozone forming pollution and greenhouse gases in Colorado, North Dakota, Wyoming, the Southern Ute Reservation and the Uintah and Ouray Reservation,” said EPA Region 8 administrator KC Becker in a written statement. “EPA will continue to hold companies accountable as we deliver cleaner air for communities across our region.”

In Fort Lupton, WES DJ Gathering LLC, formerly known as Kerr-McGee Gathering LLC, agreed to repair leaks and take corrective actions at three contiguous gas processing plants known as the Fort Lupton Complex. The company will pay a $3.5 million civil penalty to be split evenly between the United States and the state of Colorado. The area of the Fort Lupton Complex does not meet EPA’s eight-hour National Ambient Air Quality Standard for ground-level ozone and is designated as “severe” nonattainment, the EPA said in a press statement.

The company will replace older equipment with low-emission valves and connectors, repair leaking equipment, and implement a leak detection and repair quality assurance/quality control program. It also will use optical gas imaging technology to improve visual detection and resolution of leaks. 

To mitigate harm from past emissions, it will convert two existing glycol dehydrators at the Frederick Compressor Station to zero-emitting dehydrators and take two pre-1981 engines at the compressor station out of service.

The steps to be taken are estimated to reduce ozone-producing air pollution in Northern Colorado by an estimated 162 tons per year and greenhouse gases by 17,433 tons per year, the EPA said in its statement. Other settlements last week were with MPLX LP in North Dakota, Wyoming and the Uintah and Ouray reservations in Utah; and the Williams Cos. Inc. in Colorado, the Southern Ute Reservation south of Durango, and in Wyoming.

Source: BizWest

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