Noble Energy to pay $73M to fight Front Range pollution

Photo: Courtesy of CDPHE)
A 2013 photo of pollution over Denver.
Photo: Ozone pollution over Denver
A 2013 photo of pollution over Denver.

The Denver Post reports that the company's tank batteries were emitting thousands of tons of chemicals a year, contributing to the region's ozone pollution problem.

The Houston-based energy mammoth has agreed to evaluate its 3,400 tank batteries in the Denver-Julesburg basin, which stretches from Denver to the Wyoming border, and make the needed upgrades.

Noble did not admit to any wrongdoing in the settlement, but has agreed to spend $60 million in improvements. A $4.95 civil penalty will be split between the federal government and the state. Colorado will receive about $1.5 million.

“Noble Energy representatives were very cooperative in this investigation, providing records and working constructively to identify root causes of operational issues to help prevent future storage tank emissions,” said Dr. Larry Wolk, executive director and chief medical officer at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.