EPA Announces Clean Air Act Violations for Permian Basin Company
DALLAS, TEXAS (March 22nd, 2023) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a Consent Agreement and Final Order to Chisholm Energy Operating, LLC for emissions from storage tanks that the EPA identified using a helicopter equipped with a special infrared camera that detects hydrocarbon leaks, and for construction of facilities prior to permit approval. Chisholm performed corrective actions at eight of the company’s oil and gas facilities in the Permian Basin in New Mexico, resulting in an estimated reduction of 1715 tons of volatile organic compounds emissions. Volatile organic compounds emissions, or VOCs, contribute to the formation of ozone, or smog, which can result in health problems such as asthma, lung infections, bronchitis, and cancer. The settlement also achieved climate change co-benefits through the reduction of 6,168 tons of methane emissions. Methane is a potent climate pollutant that also impacts human health.
“By using advanced technology, the EPA, working in partnership with the NMED, was able to detect Clean Air Act violations and ensure that the company took prompt action to address unauthorized emissions.” said Regional Administrator Dr. Earthea Nance. “The CAA is designed to protect and enhance the quality of our nation’s air; companies (or facilities) must continue to uphold that standard or expect to be held accountable when failing to safeguard public health.”
The settlement addresses violations of air regulations that the EPA identified from its flyover of the Permian Basin in 2020. The company failed to comply with requirements for tanks in the federal New Source Performance Standards and the New Mexico State Implementation Plan, and constructed facilities prior to permit approval. Chisholm performed corrective actions to address the components that were causing the emissions, including repairing thief hatches, pressure relief valves and resizing vapor recovery units at the sites. Additionally, Chisholm must pay a penalty of $440,000 to resolve the violations at the facilities, which the company sold in February 2022. The New Mexico Environment Department assisted the EPA as it conducted the investigation into noncompliance with state requirements.
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