EPA Announces Significant Air Pollution Reductions from Permian Basin Company Settlement
DALLAS, TEXAS (March 3, 2023) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a Consent Agreement and Final Order (CAFO) to Permian Resources Operating, LLC (Permian Resources), formerly known as Centennial Resource Production, LLC, for emissions from tanks, flares, and other equipment that EPA identified using a helicopter equipped with a special infrared camera that detects hydrocarbon leaks. Permian Resources will perform corrective actions at nine of the company’s oil and gas facilities in the West Texas Permian Basin, resulting in an estimated reduction of 729,000 pounds of volatile organic compound (VOCs) emissions. VOCs contribute to the formation of ozone (smog), which can result in health problems such as asthma, lung infections, bronchitis and cancer. There also are climate change co-benefits achieved through this settlement in the form of 2,623,000 pounds of methane emission reductions. Methane is a potent climate pollutant that also impacts human health.
“EPA developed an innovative way to detect potential violations from oil and gas facilities across the vast Permian Basin area, and now our enforcement team is following through with tough penalties and actions that reduce emissions,” said Regional Administrator Dr. Earthea Nance. “Companies must uphold their obligations to follow the Clean Air Act or expect to be held accountable when they don’t.”
The settlement addresses violations of air regulations that EPA identified from its flyover of the Permian Basin in 2020. The company failed to comply with requirements for flares, tanks, and a combustor as well as general requirements of the federally approved Texas State Implementation Plan (SIP).
The CAFO requires several actions from Permian Resources, including site-specific corrective actions, inspections, equipment upgrades, permitting and operations reviews, design assessments, and corrective actions. The settlement also requires the company to conduct monthly optical gas imaging inspections, tank pressure monitoring, and site-specific combustion control device monitoring to ensure future compliance. Last, Permian Resources must pay a $610,000 penalty to resolve the violations.
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