EPA finds air-quality violations at two Adrian-area oil sites

An oil pumpjack on North Adrian Highway.

Erik Gable

An oil pumpjack on North Adrian Highway.

A little over a year after investigating odor complaints from area residents and finding vapor leaks at Adrian-area oil processing facilities, the Environmental Protection Agency has issued a notice of violation against Savoy Energy.

The news was reported on Monday by the Adrian Oil and Gas blog, and then given wider circulation in this morning’s edition of The Daily Telegram. (The story is not yet online; I’ll link to it when it is.) Violations of the Clean Air Act were found at two facilities: one at M-52 and Howell Highway, and one in the area of Shepherd Road and Pentecost Highway.

In a letter to Savoy dated May 29, George T. Czerniak of the EPA wrote: “Section 113 of the Clean Air Act gives us several enforcement options. These options include issuing an administrative compliance order, issuing an administrative penalty order and bringing a judicial civil or criminal action.” The letter asks for the facilities’ technical and management personnel to schedule a conference with the EPA to discuss compliance.

You can read the complete notice of violations here.

Hat tip to Tom Wassmer of the Adrian Oil and Gas blog for his pursuit of this story over the past year.

  • Ann Burke

    I’m still wondering if they have anything at all to do with the rapidly declining water levels of the lake behind my house. It seems like ever since they started drilling, we’re losing more and more water every season.

    • Erik Gable

      Ann, what lake are you on? I know that Lake Adrian experienced water level problems starting in Summer 2013 because of a floodgate problem.

      • Ann Burke

        Lake Sequoia. We’re in a subdivision right off from Occidental. Have no idea where to turn to try and save it. There’s a lot of wildlife back there that depend on that environment.

        • Erik Gable

          I emailed another reader who’s very familiar with what goes into oil drilling to double-check what I was thinking. The extraction process does use a lot of water, and there are a couple of different ways this could impact a lake’s water level — one is if that lake is actually the direct source of the water, and the other is if water wells are drilled (to supply water for the oil extraction process) that draw from an aquifer that feeds the lake. I can’t say if this is the case here or not, because there are other factors that can lower water level, and because I don’t know anything about the geology of that particular lake. That’s all I have for now…