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Air Enforcement: Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality and Johnson County, Arkansas, Compressor Station Operator Enter into Consent Administrative Order

January 02, 2019

By: Walter G. Wright

Category: Arkansas Environmental, Energy, and Water Law

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The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality and XTO Energy, Inc., (“XTO”) entered into a December 17th Consent Administrative Order (“CAO”) addressing alleged violations of an air permit. See LIS No. 18-099.

The CAO provides that XTO owns and operates a compressor station (“Station”) in Johnson County, Arkansas.

The Station is stated to have been provided coverage under ADEQ’s Minor Source General Air Permit for Natural Gas Compression Stations, Permit Number 1868-AGP-000 (“Permit”).

XTO is stated to have submitted to ADEQ on May 8, 2018, test results for emissions testing conducted on May 7, 2018. Such test results are stated to have indicated that XTO failed to test Unit A049 Caterpillar G3306TA (SN-01) within the 90 percent rated capacity range. The company is stated to have been required to test engines within 90 percent of their rated capacity and if such tests are failed to be performed within range, XTO will be limited to operating within 10 percent above the tested rate. Further, Specific Condition 11 of the Permit is stated to have required XTO to get pre-approval from ADEQ when operating outside of the 90 percent rated capacity. The production test rate is stated to have been at 82.81 percent. This is alleged to have violated Specific Condition 11 of the Permit.

The test results are also stated to have indicated that SN-01 exceeded an emission limit for Nitrogen Oxide (NOx). 40 C.F.R. § 60 Subpart JJJJ – Standards of Performance for Stationary Spark Ignition Internal Combustion Engines is referenced and Specific Condition 15 of the Permit is stated to have been violated.

XTO notified ADEQ in a May 17th letter of the exceedance at SN-01 for NOx and the intent to submit an upset condition report. Further XTO submitted a test protocol form to ADEQ for the retest of NOx. In addition, on July 17th XTO submitted test results for the retest of NOx. ADEQ further determined that the results of the retest indicated XTO was in compliance with the emission limit.

A civil penalty of $1,100 is assessed, which could have been reduced to $550 if the document was signed and returned to the agency by December 19th.

A copy of the CAO can be found here.

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