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Denver oil company, regulators reach $3.5M settlement over air pollution violations

Greg Avery
Denver oil company, regulators reach $3.5M settlement over air pollution violations

Denver oil company HighPoint Resources is committing to $3.55 million in civil penalties along with changes in oil storage that will annually remove tons of ozone-causing air pollution as part of a settlement covering five years of alleged federal Clean Air Act violations. Regulators with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment accused HighPoint Resources (NYSE: HPR) of allowing excessive ozone-causing emissions from oil tank batteries connected to its well sites in the southern half of Weld County, an area where rules about ozone-causing pollutants are more strict due to concerns about Denver-metro area air quality. “HighPoint’s operation and maintenance of vapor control systems at some or all of its tank batteries ... failed to minimize [volatile organic compound] emissions to the maximum extent practicable,” in violation of the Clean Air Act, the EPA and CDPHE complaint concluded.