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