Self regulation in Bloomfield, New Mexico: Harvest Midstream gets to “discuss” resolution, $187,400 penalty reduced to $92,500 for contaminating water with natural gas and not reporting it.

AER fined Encana/Ovintiv $0 for intentionally, illegally frac’ing Rosebud, Alberta drinking water aquifers, contaminating them with gas and more, and keeping it secret. No fine, not even after the community water tower exploded, seriously injuring and hospitalizing the water manager.

EMNRD’s Oil Conservation Division Issues Civil Penalty To Harvest Midstream Co. For Failing To Report Major Release by Carol A. Clark, December 15, 2020, Los Alamos Daily Post


…OCD proposes $187,400 penalty for Harvest’s alleged spill rule violation

SANTA FE — The Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department’s Oil Conservation Division (OCD) announced Monday that it has issued a notice of violation (NOV) and associated administrative civil penalty to Harvest Midstream Company (Harvest) for failing to report a major release.

The OCD considers failing to report a release, particularly a major release, to be a serious violation because it undermines OCD’s ability to ensure that a release is promptly mitigated and remediated and that human health and the environment are protected.

Aug. 13 Harvest had a release into an ephemeral wash, a type of watercourse, approximately 11 miles southeast of Bloomfield. Since the release impacted a watercourse, the release was classified as a major release and required notice to the OCD within 24 hours. Harvest did not provide the appropriate notification to the OCD until Sept. 29, 44 days late.

In addition, Harvest failed to file the appropriate paperwork to the Division detailing the required remediation plan. Following identification of the release, the OCD ensured that the site was remediated and is awaiting final closure approvals.

“Failing to self-report a major release is a serious violation of OCD’s rules,” OCD Director Adrienne Sandoval said. “Without proper notification the OCD cannot ensure that the release is promptly mitigated and remediated in order to protect human health and the environment as required by state law.”

OCD proposes to assess a total civil penalty of $187,400 for Harvest’s alleged violation of the spill rule requirements. The operator now has the opportunity to discuss an informal resolution.Lucky law violator, “discussed” the penalty down by half.

If a resolution is not reached, OCD will hold a hearing to assess the civil penalty. During this process, the penalty amount could change.

Energy company to pay state penalty by Albuquerque Journal, N.M., March 12, 2021

Mar. 12—ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — An oil and gas company in northern New Mexico has agreed to pay the state a nearly $100,000 civil penalty for failing to report a release of natural gas into water, according to the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department.

Along with the civil penalty of $92,500, Harvest Midstream Company also “took specific steps to improve its environmental protection and reporting practices,” a news release from the state EMNRD said.

“This settlement holds Harvest accountable for its failure to comply with OCD’s rules and establishes a path forward to improve reporting and protect public health and the environment,” Adrienne Sandoval, OCD director wrote in the release.

The agreement and changes in practices stem from an August 2020 notice of violation in which it was alleged that the company failed to notify the Oil Conservation Department in a timely manner after releasing natural gas into water just south of Bloomfield, according to the EMNRD.

Refer also to:

2005: Investigators say an accumulation of gases appears to have caused the explosion that destroyed the Rosebud water tower and sent a Wheatland County employee to hospital

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