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EPA in Kansas

Public Notice: R.P. Nixon Operations, Inc.

Publish Date: 12/08/2020



In accordance with Section 311(b)(6)(c) of the Clean Water Act (“CWA”), 33 U.S.C. § 1321(b)(6)(C), and 40 C.F.R. § 22.45 of the Consolidated Rules of Practice Governing the Administrative Assessment of Civil Penalties and the Revocation/Termination or Suspension of Permits (“Consolidated Rules”), the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) is providing notice of a proposed administrative penalty assessment against R.P. Nixon Operations, Inc., for alleged violations at three oil production facilities, or leases, in Russell and Ellis Counties of Kansas: known as the “Dumler Lease,” the “Braun Lease” and the “Gilbert Lease” (collectively, “Facilities).

Under Section 311(b)(6)(B)(ii) of the CWA, 33 U.S.C. § 1321(b)(6)(B)(ii), the EPA is authorized to issue orders assessing civil penalties for various violations of the CWA.  The EPA may issue such orders after filing a Complaint commencing either a Class I or Class II penalty proceeding.  The EPA provides notice of the proposed assessment of a Class II civil penalty pursuant to 311(b)(6)(B)(ii) of the CWA, 33 U.S.C. § 1321(b)(6)(B)(ii).  Class II proceedings are conducted under EPA’s Consolidated Rules, 40 C.F.R. Part 22.

In this case, the EPA alleges that Respondent violated the requirements of 40 C.F.R. Part 112 for the preparation and implementation of Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure Plans at the Facilities. The EPA also alleges two discharges of oil from the Gilbert Lease into a tributary of the Saline River, a water of the United States. The discharges were in quantities that have been determined may be harmful to the public health or welfare or environment of the United States, and in violation of Sections 311(b)(3) and 311(j) of the CWA, 33 U.S.C. §§ 1321(b)(3) and 1321(j).  Respondent has reached agreement with EPA on the terms of a proposed Consent Agreement/Final Order which would resolve this matter.  Under the proposed Consent Agreement/Final Order, Respondent will pay a civil penalty of $50,000, in four quarterly payments of $12,500, plus interest.  Final approval of the proposed Consent Agreement/Final Order is subject to the requirements of 40 C.F.R. § 22.45.

The EPA will receive written comments on the proposed administrative penalty assessment for a period of thirty (30) days from the date of publication of this notice.  All such comments shall be submitted to the Regional Hearing Clerk at the email address provided below.  The procedures by which the public may submit written comments on a proposed Class II order or participate in a Class II proceeding, and the procedures by which a respondent may request a hearing, are set forth in the Consolidated Rules.  Persons wishing to obtain additional information on the proceeding, receive a copy of EPA’s Consolidated Rules, review the proposed Consent Agreement/Final Order, comment upon the proposed penalty assessment, or otherwise participate in the proceeding should contact the Regional Hearing Clerk, at or 913-551-7972.  Please reference Docket No. CWA-07-2021-0005.  For Technical questions contact Mark Aaron, Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Division, at or 913-551-7205.  Persons with legal questions may contact Howard Bunch, Office of Regional Counsel, at or 913-551-7879.  In order to provide opportunity for public comment, EPA will issue no final order assessing a penalty in this proceeding prior to forty (40) days from the date of this notice.

/s/ David Cozad
David Cozad
Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Division
U.S. EPA, Region 7

Applicant or Respondent

R.P. Nixon Operations, Inc.

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