In a first for resolving clean air issues and saving natural gas at western production facilities, Kerr-McGee Corp., now a subsidiary of Anadarko Petroleum, Thursday reached an $18 million settlement under the federal Clean Air Act that is supposed to slash harmful emissions and save natural gas at its production facilities in Colorado and Utah. The company self-disclosed a number of violations and has "worked cooperatively" with regulators to resolve them, regulators said.

Kerr-McGee will install pollution control equipment and adopt measures that are expected to reduce annual emissions by more than 2,500 tons in Utah and more than 3,000 tons in Colorado.

The company reached the accord with the U.S. Justice Department and Environmental Protection Agency. The settlement filed in U.S. District Court in Denver addresses allegations of violations discovered at several of Kerr-McGee's natural gas compressor stations located on the Uinta and Ouray Indian Reservation near Vernal, UT, and in the Denver Julesburg Basin near Weld County, CO. The violations occurred before the August 2006 date when Anadarko acquired Kerr-McGee.

The settlement announcement outlined eight specific pollution control steps Kerr-McGee will take:

Federal officials acknowledged the company had reported the violations itself and worked with state and federal officials on fixes. In addition to implementing the $18 million in pollution control measures, Kerr-McGee will pay $200,000 in penalties and spend $250,000 on "environmental projects to benefit the areas in which the violations occurred."

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