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Environment Department assesses over $7 million in civil penalties to air polluters


SANTA FE — The New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) issued administrative compliance orders to DCP Operating Company, LP (DCP) and Energy Transfer Partners for violations of air permits at natural gas plants in southeast New Mexico.

Four of DCP’s facilities in southeast New Mexico were cited for emitting more than 1.6 million pounds of pollutants between May 2017 and August 2018. Energy Transfer Partners was cited for emitting approximately 3.1 million pounds of emissions in excess of their permit limits at its Jal #3 Gas Plant between January 2017 and August 2018. The Compliance Orders include assessments of civil penalties in the amount of $3.3 million to DCP and $4 million to Energy Transfer Partners.

“NMED is committed to holding polluters accountable, full stop,” said NMED Cabinet Secretary James Kenney. “In this administration, compliance is front and center, and our Department will pursue enforcement action when appropriate to address past violations.”

To remedy the violations, the companies must immediately comply with all air permit emission limits and applicable regulations.

Failure to comply with permitted emissions limits results in emissions of harmful levels of air pollutants that can impact public health and the environment, including contributing to the formation of ground-level ozone and other hazardous air quality conditions.