NM Reaches Emissions Settlement

New Mexico – New Mexico's Environment Department has reached a settlement with Marathon Oil Corp. under which the Houston company will pay $5.1 million in environmental projects and penalties to resolve air quality violations alleged by the state at Marathon's Indian Basin Gas Plant near Carlsbad.

The settlement includes environmental projects totaling $4.5 million plus a civil penalty of $610,560.

The environmental projects include $3.75 million to build and maintain new pollution controls at the plant to reduce sulfur dioxide emissions and $750,000 for an algae-to-biofuels project in Carlsbad.

Marathon also will install a smokeless flare and a vapor recovery system.

The Environment Department says those measures will bring the plant into compliance.

Marathon spokeswoman Lee Warren says it sold the Indian Basin plant earlier this year, but will implement the projects called for by the settlement.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.