The company was fined $353,680 by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC).
Alanco Energy Services was fined in connection with ongoing violations, including for violations involving a well that was drilled on the site but the agency decided could not be used for underground wastewater injection.
The company, which ran an oil and gas wastewater facility outside Whitewater, Colorado, was fined $353,680 by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC).
Alanco Energy Services failed to conduct a required test of the well, or to plug and abandon it within six months after declaring its intent to abandon the well, reported The Daily Sentinel.
Drilling began on the Deer Creek facility well in Feb. 2011 and the COGCC turned down an application by the well’s former operator for an underground injection permit. According to the commission, wastewater injection there could impact tributaries to the Gunnison River and pose a threat to the environment and human health, reported The Daily Sentinel.
The well eventually landed in the lap of Alanco, which stopped running the Deer Creek facility. Ponds holding wastewater from oil and gas development triggered odor complaints from area residents, and Goodwin Septic Tank Service later obtained Mesa County approval to expand its own waste disposal operations at the site.
According to a COGCC document, the agency sent multiple notifications to the last known address for Alanco for enforcement proceedings and no Alanco representative participated in the COGCC meeting on the fine proposal. Phone numbers for the company listed with the COGCC are no longer working as well, reported The Daily Sentinel.
According to COGCC, Alanco has 35 days to pay the fine and comply with COGCC rules regarding the well. In the event Alanco fails to do so, the agency will take steps including revoking its right to conduct oil and gas operations in the state and foreclosing on its $10,000 cash bond. The COGCC director would be authorized to declare the well to be orphaned and then plug the well.