EPA, Elm Ridge Exploration Co. reach settlement

DENVER -- Court documents show Dallas-based Elm Ridge Exploration Co. has agreed to pay $275,000 to settle allegations that it violated emission standards at its Ignacio gas treating plant on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation in Colorado.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Monday that Elm Ridge has agreed to replace the plant's compressor engines with lower-emitting engines with pollution-control equipment. Elm Ridge will administer a program that exchanges older wood stoves in homes on the reservation with EPA-certified stoves and cleaner-burning appliances, and it agreed to a program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and conserve natural gas at the plant.

The public has 30 days to comment on the agreement.

A company phone number rang unanswered Monday, and a representative couldn't be reached for comment.