Enforcement

QEPFS Facilities Services Company Settlement

(Washington, DC - May 16, 2012) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Justice announced a settlement with QEP Field Services Co. (QEPFS), formerly Questar Gas Management Co., to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Air Act at five natural gas compressor stations on the Uintah and Ouray Reservation in Northeastern Utah. Four members of the Ute Indian Tribe intervened as co-plaintiffs. Under the proposed settlement, QEPFS will pay a $3.65 million civil penalty and pay $350,000 into a Clean Air Trust Fund to be established by the tribal member intervenors.

On this page:

Overview of Company and Facility Locations

QEP Field Services Company (QEPFS), formerly Questar Gas Management Company, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of QEP Resources, Inc., which is headquartered in Denver, Colorado.  QEPFS provides midstream field services such as natural gas gathering, compression, dehydration, and processing to upstream natural gas companies that include other subsidiaries of Questar Corporation as well as independent third-parties.  

The following five facilities covered by this settlement are all located in the Uintah and Ouray Reservation in northeastern Utah.

  • Coyote Wash Compressor Station
  • Chapita Compressor Station
  • Island Compressor Station
  • Wonsits Valley Compressor Station
  • River Bend Compressor Station

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Violations

The settlement provides for civil penalties and injunctive relief for alleged Clean Air Act (CAA) violations of:

  • The National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for Oil and Natural Gas Production Facilities, Subpart HH;
  • The NESHAP for Reciprocating Internal Combustion Engines, Subpart ZZZZ; 
  • The New Source Review/Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) requirements for increases of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and carbon monoxide (CO); and
  • The federal operating permit requirements under Title V of the CAA.

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Injunctive Relief

QEPFS will make the following changes:

Coyote Wash Compressor Station

  • remove the gylcol dehydrators subject to NESHAP Subpart
  • remove one rich burn engine and use a catalyst system on the remaining large compressor engines to comply with NESHAP Subpart ZZZZ
  • comply with specific emission limits for NOx and CO from these engines
  • control and eventually remove the condensate storage tanks

Chapita Compressor Station

  • remove the gylcol dehydrators subject to NESHAP Subpart
  • use a catalyst system on the large compressor engines at the compressor station to comply with NESHAP Subpart ZZZZ
  • comply with specific emission limits for NOx and CO from these engines
  • control the emissions from the condensate storage tanks

Island Compressor Station 

  • install a flare to comply with the control device requirements for gylcol dehydrators at major sources subject to NESHAP Subpart HH
  • remove one rich burn engine and use a catalyst system on the remaining large compressor engines to comply with NESHAP Subpart ZZZZ
  • comply with emission limits for NOx, CO and VOC for the engines and gylcol dehydrators
  • control the emissions from the condensate storage tanks

Wonsits Compressor Station

  • install a flare to comply with the control device requirements for gylcol dehydrators at major sources subject to NESHAP Subpart HH
  • use a catalyst system on the large compressor engines to comply with NESHAP Subpart ZZZZ
  • comply with emission limits for NOx, CO and VOC for the engines and gylcol dehydrators
  • control the emissions from the condensate storage tanks

River Bend Compressor Station

  • permanently shut down this facility

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Pollutant Reductions

The actions required in the settlement will eliminate, per year, approximately:

  • 210 tons of NOx,
  • 219 tons of CO,
  • 17 tons of HAPs (hazardous air pollutants)
  • 166 tons of VOCs

In addition, QEPFS will conserve 3.5 million cubic feet of gas each year by replacing the natural gas currently used in its pneumatic instrument controllers with air.  This amount of natural gas could heat approximately 50 U.S. households. Also, the reduction in methane emissions (a greenhouse gas that is a component of natural gas) is equivalent to planting more than 300 acres of trees.

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Civil Penalty

QEPFS has agreed to pay $3.65 million to the United States to resolve past liability for the violations alleged by the United States at the five facilities. 

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Co-Plaintiffs

Four tribal members of the Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation, all of whom are Business Council members, intervened as co-plaintiffs.  To resolve the claims of the co-plaintiffs, QEPFS will pay $350,000 into a Clean Air Trust Fund to be established. 

The Clean Air Trust Fund will fund beneficial environmental projects on the Uintah and Ouray Reservation, including projects to:

  • reduce emissions of air pollution on the Reservation
  • mitigate the impacts of air pollution on tribal members
  • screen for air pollution related health impacts among tribal members
  • educate tribal members about the impacts of air pollution on their health and the environment.

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Comment Period

The proposed settlement, lodged in the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah, Central Division, is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval. Information on submitting comment is available at the Department of Justice website.

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Contact

Teresa Dykes
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Ave, NW (MC 2242A)
Washington, DC 20460
(202) 564-9883
dykes.teresa@epa.gov

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