WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) announced Dec. 1 that Slawson Exploration Company Inc.
will settle allegations of violating the Clean Air Act during its oil and gas
production activities in North Dakota.
According to the EPA, Slawson failed to adequately design,
operate and maintain vapor control systems on storage tanks at its wells in
North Dakota. The company operates roughly 170 well pads, including some on the
Fort Berthold Indian Reservation.
“Safe, responsible and lawful development of domestic
energy resources and technology is of great importance to a sustainable future
for all Americans,” said assistant attorney general John C. Cruden for the
Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division.
To resolve the allegations, Slawson will spend an estimated
$4.1 million to upgrade its facilities and an estimated $2 million to fund
environmental mitigation projects. Additionally, the company agreed to a $2.1
million civil penalty.
“This settlement puts next generation compliance
technologies to work to reduce air pollution across communities in North
Dakota, including on tribal lands,” said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator
for the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance at the EPA. “EPA is
committed to making sure that domestic energy development grows in a
responsible way that protects public health and complies with the law.”