This file photo shows crews fracking the EnerVest Cole "B" natural gas well at Masch Branch Road in November 2014. 

State environmental officials in Austin approved a settlement Wednesday fining a Houston energy company $147,375 for air quality violations in Denton.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality agreed to defer $29,475 of the fine in exchange for EnerVest Operating’s compliance with federal rules. Company spokeswoman Lindsey Threlkeld said EnerVest addressed the problems at the west Denton gas well site when first notified in 2016. The company has since sold the property.

According to state records, the company failed to obtain a federal permit before operating a major emissions source, specifically the Cole B 2H gas well production site at the intersection of West University Drive and Masch Branch Road. The site went into operations in December 2014 and was unable to demonstrate that a flare meant to reduce emissions was operating appropriately at various times from 2014 to 2016.

Among the corrective steps the company took in exchange for the deferral included revising the site's air quality permit and installing a new vapor combustion unit to reduce emissions in 2018.

The state’s settlement with EnerVest was part of $483,002 in fines commissioners levied against 28 regulated entities for violations of state environmental rules this week.

PEGGY HEINKEL-WOLFE can be reached at 940-566-6881 and via Twitter at @phwolfeDRC.

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