Southern Ute Indian Tribe, Colorado

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Amoco Production Co. will spend $82,000 in a settlement for violations of the Safe Water Drinking Act at three drilling sites on the reservation. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced April 17 that Amoco will pay a $26,000 fine and spend $56,000 on environmental projects in southwestern Colorado for the violations. In June, the EPA accused Amoco of violating underground injection control rules at three injection wells. Those wells are used to inject mineral-laden water extracted from gas wells back into the earth. The EPA alleged Amoco exceeded the maximum pressure and rate at which the water is injected at one well, the maximum pressure for a second well and the maximum rate at a third well. The EPA originally proposed fines of $63,100 for the violations, which were discovered through analysis of annual monitoring reports submitted by Amoco. The company agreed to settle the case by paying $26,000 in cash. In exchange, the EPA gave Amoco credit for the environmental work it agreed to perform, which is valued at $56,000. The company will test water quality at 20 private wells identified by the tribe. It also will test and monitor a hot spring that may have been affected by violations at one of the wells.