Business - October 27, 2017

Exxon Mobil Corp Is Set to Settle Pollution Violations with U.S.

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he U.S. government is close to resolving air pollution allegations against Exxon Mobil Corp. and may announce an agreement in coming days, according to people familiar with the situation.

Officials are also poised to settle a second case involving air pollution violations with Colorado-based PDC Energy Inc., after its storage tanks were found to be leaking smog-forming compounds.

The pending agreements were confirmed by people familiar with the settlements who asked not to be identified because the deals haven’t been announced.

The full details of those settlements — including the size of any potential fines or payments — weren’t immediately available.

The settlements could be announced by the Department of Justice as soon as next week.

Representatives of the companies didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

The pair of cases could be among the most notable environmental enforcement actions by the Trump administration, with at least one target that hits close to home.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was chief executive officer of Exxon until late last year.

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has vowed to get tough on corporate polluters.

In June, the Trump administration filed a civil lawsuit alleging that PDC repeatedly violated the Clean Air Act

and Colorado air pollution rules by allowing volatile organic compounds to escape from more than 80 groupings of condensate storage tanks near Denver.

The EPA alleged that PDC failed to adequately design, operate; and maintain control systems on those tanks, resulting in the leaks

and contributing to a smog problem in the area, where ozone levels exceed federal limits.

The case was brought at the request of the EPA and Colorado authorities, following state inspections from 2013 through 2015.

PDC, which is incorporated in Delaware, owns and operates hundreds of oil and gas production facilities in Colorado’s Denver-Julesburg Basin.

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