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Amoco agrees to pay penalty, test area wells and monitor hot spring

Release Date: 4/17/2001
Contact Information:
303 312-6917,

Release Date: 4/17/2001
Contact Information:
303 312-6211,

Release Date: 4/17/2001
Contact Information:
303 312-6217

      Denver -- Amoco Production Company will pay a $26,000 cash penalty and spend $56,000
on local environmental projects to settle a complaint brought by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the nation=s Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). EPA learned of the violations from required annual monitoring reports submitted by Amoco.
"Companies that quickly come into compliance may benefit from a reduced penalty under the UIC penalty policy. In this case, EPA agreed to a lower settlement penalty in recognition of Amoco's level of corporate responsibility and willingness to cooperate," EPA Assistant Regional Administrator Carol Rushin said.

In an Administrative Order proposed last June, EPA alleged that Amoco violated Aunderground injection control (UIC) rules@ at three injection wells located within the exterior boundary of the Southern Ute Reservation. The Order proposed a $63,100 penalty for violating the SDWA, and alleged that Amoco exceeded both the maximum authorized pressure and rate listed in its UIC permit for one well, the maximum authorized pressure for a different well, and the maximum authorized rate for the third well. The three wells have EPA-issued UIC permits.

UIC rules regulate the way wastes B in this case produced water from the extraction of natural gas B are pumped back into the earth. Injection permits limit the pressure, the depth and the rate at which produced water can be injected. Exceeding such limits can breach natural containment and let wastes enter shallower formations that are a potential source of drinking water.

On April 16th Amoco agreed to settle with EPA for total payments of $50,000. In addition to the cash payment, Amoco agreed to perform two environmental projects that will benefit the local community. First, they will test water quality at 20 private wells suggested by the Southern Ute Tribe. Second, they will test and monitor a nearby hot spring for three years. The hot spring is alleged to have been affected by injection at one of the three wells.

"This is an example of a company accepting responsibility for its actions and doing something for the betterment of the local community," EPA's Rushin said.