The state’s environmental regulator is gearing up for another spring crackdown on oil and gas engines used at oil and natural gas drilling and production sites.

The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality announced the decision to increase compliance checks on the small engines this week, making 2013 the third spring in a row with increased enforcement.

Engine operators are required to maintain certain emissions levels under their state permits, but a state administrator said the additional checks help state staff keep an even closer eye on operations.

“These additional checks, using a portable analyzer, test the operations of these engines in the real-world environment, including the effects of weather conditions, elevation, and loading,” said Steve Dietrich, air quality administrator.

Dietrich said in a release that the stepped-up checks are important to the state, but have also been received well by members of the oil and gas industry.

“These efforts have been well-received by the industry and we have seen an increase in performance and compliance of the engines,” he said.

The agency is also exploring steps to further the compliance checks, including more formal testing programs and developing a training program for operators.

Reach energy reporter Adam Voge at 307-266-0561, or at adam.voge@trib.com. Read his blog at http://trib.com/news/opinion/blogs/boom or follow him on Twitter @vogeCST.

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