SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – New Mexico regulators are collecting a $150,000 fine from Texas-based Davis Gas Processing. The news comes after the New Mexico Environment Department announced large fines against other Texas-based oil and gas operators, including over $1 million in fines towards Matador Production Company and over $40 million in penalties towards Ameredev.
The New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) says a 2020 inspection revealed permit violations at Davis Gas Processing’s Denton Gas Plant in Lea County. NMED says the company tested equipment with an unapproved method and failed to properly notify regulators.
The company no longer operates in New Mexico, NMED says. Still, the company has agreed to pay the fine.
The settlement agreement reveals New Mexico tried to get the company to pay $168,000. In response, the company said that amount was “disproportionately high, as they believed that neither violation impacted human health or the environment.”
After phone negotiations, the Environment Department offered to accept a lower penalty of $150,243, the document shows. If the company doesn’t pay, the company has to take a $1,500 penalty for each day the payment is not complete.
“This penalty sends a strong message to this company and to the entire oil and gas industry that NMED takes compliance seriously,” NMED Air Quality Bureau Chief Liz Bisbey-Kuehn said in a press release. “We will continue to pursue enforcement actions against companies, even after they shutter their operations in New Mexico.”