EPA Settlement with Gulfport Energy to Reduce Emissions from Oil and Natural Gas Operations by 313 Tons Per Year
CHICAGO (January 22, 2020) – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a settlement with Oklahoma City-based Gulfport Energy Corp. for alleged violations of the Clean Air Act at oil and natural gas production wells in Ohio.
Under the terms of the settlement, which addresses Gulfport’s failure to capture and control air emissions from storage vessels and to comply with associated inspection, recordkeeping, and reporting requirements, Gulfport will pay a $1.7 million penalty and invest approximately $2 million in improvements at 17 well pads in eastern Ohio to help reduce volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions by approximately 313 tons per year. VOCs include a variety of chemicals that may cause adverse health effects.
“Gulfport has agreed to improve its operations to address these issues and to reduce air pollution,” said EPA Region 5 Administrator Kurt Thiede. “EPA is committed to reducing pollution and improving air quality throughout Ohio, helping residents breathe easier.”
Gulfport operates oil and natural gas production wells in eastern Ohio. The wells produce a mixture of natural gas, light crude oil known as condensate, and a naturally occurring wastewater known as “produced water.” Multiple wells are typically co-located on a single well pad along with production equipment, including condensate and produced water storage vessels.
In August 2015, EPA inspected several of Gulfport’s condensate-producing well pads and found systemic deficiencies in the company’s vapor capture and control systems for its storage vessels. In December 2016, EPA issued to Gulfport a finding of violation alleging failures of design and operational requirements of the vapor capture and control systems, along with associated inspection, monitoring, recordkeeping and reporting requirements.
The settlement terms are included in a proposed consent decree that U.S. Department of Justice filed today with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. The proposed consent decree is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval. To view the government’s complaint and the consent decree, go to https://www.justice.gov/enrd/consent-decrees.
Information about EPA Region 5's air enforcement program is at http://www.epa.gov/region5/air/enforce/index.html.
Potential environmental violations may be reported at http://www.epa.gov/compliance/complaints.