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U.S. EPA Takes Further Action Against Greka

Release Date: 01/31/2008
Contact Information: Mary Simms, 415-760-5419

SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today orders Greka Oil and Gas, Inc. to immediately comply with the Federal Water Pollution Control Act at their Bell Tank Facility, or face fines of up to $32,500 per day, for each violation.

This is the second order issued to Greka by the EPA this week.

"Greka is one of the most egregious environmental violators I’ve seen in a long time,” said Rob Wise,” Federal On-scene Coordinator for the Superfund Division in the EPA’s Pacific Southwest region. “Greka’s responsibility to clean up their spill sites, and prevent further harm to the surrounding areas is something we take very, very seriously.”

Per the latest order, Greka must immediately remove all oil and hazardous substances released from a wastewater impoundment at their Bell Lease, located on the 6800 block of Palmer Road. This second order issued to Greka, deals specifically with a spill that occurred at their Bell Lease site on Jan. 29th. The spill, caused by a corroded pipe, caused oil and water to escape from the pipe, through the soil, across Palmer Road, and eventually more than 1 mile down Sisquoc Creek, which feeds into the Pacific Ocean.

Greka must work to clean up and contain the spill, and prevent further flow from causing additional harm to the environment. Greka’s cleanup must include all petroleum, and petroleum contaminated media including crude oil, soil, debris, creek water, and vegetation.

At the direction of EPA, and with EPA oversight, Greka has been engaged in clean up efforts at all Greka spill sites. The EPA is issuing this order to ensure that clean up is completed expeditiously, comprehensively, and in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.

The EPA continues to work with members of the California Department of Fish and Game, the Santa Barbara County Fire Department, the U.S. Coast Guard’s Pacific Strike Team, and Greka Oil and Gas, the responsible party, to contain and clean-up these releases, and prevent further harm to the environment.

To receive a copy of the order, please email your request to