NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – State environmental officials say data shows several oil and gas operators have emissions violations.
The Environment Department recently conducted flyover inspections using forward-looking infrared cameras and collected footage from the public to be included in the agency’s interactive online methane map. On Tuesday, The New Mexico Environment Department stated in a news release that the footage shows violations of existing state permits and regulations.
The agency sent written notices to the companies asking for an explanation and requesting that corrections be made within 14 days. If the companies don’t respond, the state may launch an investigation or seek penalties.
The department reports that of the 5,340 storage tanks that were observed, 11 were emitting methane and other pollutants during the flyover. Of the 530 flares, 13 were unlit and were emitting methane and other pollutants.
More flyover inspections are expected in the future from NMED and EPA.