Oil company with history of leaks, spills, could pay less than half of $2 million fine

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The COGCC submits picture of oil spill on farm as evidence in the K.P. Kauffman trial.

DENVER (KDVR) — Oil and gas company K.P. Kauffman could pay less than half of a near-record $2 million fine if it comes into compliance with environmental and safety laws.

If the company can prove it’s following regulations, the state agreed to ease its $2 million penalty — the second-largest ever issued by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission — to $795,000.

KPK faced trial in August on allegations that the company ignored flow line leaks and oil spills and had lax cleanup efforts in northern Colorado.

The COGCC said it issued a compliance plan for the company that “goes beyond the scope” of the seven violations that led to the fine. It also includes other alleged violations at 87 wells and 23 sites.

KPK will have up to five years to pay the lesser fine, but the state will still have enforcement methods should the company fail to come into compliance.

“The Commission can impose any remaining outstanding parts of the penalty amount, suspend any or all of KPK’s Certificates of Clearance, or refuse to issue KPK new Oil & Gas Development Plans,” the COGCC said.

Read the full KPK compliance plan here.

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