Apache Corporation to pay $4 million fine for clean air violations in the Permian



Houston’s Apache Corporation agreed recently to pay a $4 million fine for clean air violations of its more than 400 oil and gas wells in the Permian Basin. It led New Mexico officials to call for even more scrutiny of oil and gas operations.

The agreement settles legal action taken against the company by the Environmental Protection Agency and the New Mexico Environment Department. Both groups accused the firm of failing to comply with federal and state requirements to capture air emissions from 23 of its wells in Texas and New Mexico.

In addition to the $4 million fine, Apache also has to begin air emissions projects that could ccost at least $5.5 million to make sure all of its wells in the Basin comply with state and federal clean air requirements.

The EPA and the New Mexico Environment Department contend that the compliance will result in annual reductions of more than 9,650 tons of volatile organic compounds and 900 tons of methane. bronchitis.

“Today’s settlement will ensure compliance at hundreds of oil and gas facilities across New Mexico and Texas,” said Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. “Under the settlement, over 400 Apache facilities will be required to take extensive steps to reduce emissions of volatile organic compounds – which contribute to smog – as well as methane gas, which is a significant contributor to climate change.” communities while propelling our world toward climate disaster,” said U.S. Attorney Alexander M.M. Uballez for the District of New Mexico.

“This settlement shows that oil and gas operators deserve greater scrutiny because too many are failing to comply with federal and state rules,” said New Mexico Environment Cabinet Secretary James Kenney. “As a result, bad actors will cause greater federal and state regulation of the entire oil and gas industry as ozone levels rise and public health suffers.”