U.S., Colorado sue PDC Energy, claiming Clean Air Act violations

Environment

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WASHINGTON The Trump administration and the state of Colorado sued PDC Energy Inc on Monday, claiming the company violated the federal Clean Air Act by allowing unlawful emissions from storage tanks.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Colorado by the Department of Justice, Environmental Protection Agency and the state, seeks civil penalties and a court order barring the damaging release of so-called volatile organic compounds.

“Violating emissions standards endangers public health and can give violators an unfair advantage in the marketplace,” Jeffrey Wood, acting assistant attorney general in the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division, said in a written statement.

“The United States will pursue all appropriate remedies against entities that violate our nation’s clean air laws,” Wood said.

A spokeswoman for PDC Energy said in a statement that the company had been engaged for more than a year in “good-faith discussions” with state and federal agencies over emissions.

“Prior to and throughout our negotiations, PDC Energy has worked diligently to address the concerns raised by the DOJ and EPA. That work is ongoing,” said the spokeswoman, Courtney Loper. “Though PDC Energy is disappointed with the filing, the company remains optimistic in its ability to resolve this dispute without protracted litigation.”

According to the complaint, PDC has repeatedly violated clean air regulations intended to address the release of volatile organic compounds at 86 storage tanks it owns or operates in Colorado.

(Reporting by Tim Ahmann and Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Grant McCool)

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