DENVER (KDVR) — Colorado’s energy regulator has lodged a fine of more than $2 million against oil and gas operator K.P. Kauffman in a series of spills and leaks.
In a hearing Tuesday, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission found the company engaged in a pattern of violations. Because of that finding, the COGCC applied an aggravating factor that increased penalties to a total of $2,014,530.
“The decisions made today underscore the main goal for the COGCC as a regulator, which is for operators to be in compliance to ensure protections for public health, safety, welfare, wildlife and environmental resources,” the COGCC stated in a press release.
The COGCC tried the Denver-based company, known as KPK, on allegations that the company ignored flow line leaks and oil spills and had lax cleanup efforts.
During the trial, the COGCC called the company unreliable, incapable and impactful and said they were “unable to operate in Colorado safely.” They said the company failed to act when notified of spills or leaks and consistently failed to properly dispose of contaminated soil during cleanup efforts.
The commission said it will work with the company on a compliance plan in an Oct. 7 hearing.
COGCC said the KPK fine is its second-largest. The largest penalty – $18.25 million – was lodged against Occidental Petroleum last year in the 2017 deadly home explosion in Firestone.