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Energy Company didn’t discover Jan. 5th oil spill for 13 hours

Release Date: 01/09/2008
Contact Information: Mary Simms, 415-947-4270,

Energy Company didn’t discover Jan. 5th oil spill for 13 hours
Firm has a history of environmental violations

    (01/09/2008 San Francisco, Calif.) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has been on-site since Saturday, assisting the California Department of Fish and Game address the more than 25,000-gallon crude oil spill near Buellton, Calif. Over filling of a produced water tank caused the spill, which continued to flow for 13 hours before it was discovered by Greka Energy.

    Greka Energy has been responsible for three major, and numerous minor oil spills in the area in the past two years.

    "We have significant concerns whenever a company has repeated releases of oil to the environment and this is the second major release from a Greka Energy facility since December 2007," said Daniel Meer, Chief of the Response, Planning and Assessment Branch for the Superfund Division in the EPA’s Pacific Southwest region. “We will use all available tools under the Clean Water Act to ensure that this company is brought into compliance with all applicable laws and regulations."

    On Jan. 5th, oil and produced water, a pollutant and contaminant under the Clean Water Act, first overflowed into the secondary containment of the Davis Tank Battery, but was compromised by an open drainage conduit. The oil and produced water flowed from the secondary containment tank, and migrated through a Santa Barbara Co. maintenance yard, a winery equipment storage yard, and eventually more than a mile down Zaca Creek.

    The EPA will continue to work with members of the California Department of Fish and Game, the U.S. Coast Guard’s Pacific Strike Team, and Greka Energy, the responsible party, in containment and clean-up efforts, to prevent further harm to the environment.

    While concentrating on clean up efforts at the current spill site, the EPA is also taking action to prevent future Greka spills. At the heart of the EPA's strategy to prevent oil spills from reaching our nation's waters, the Agency requires that certain facilities develop and implement oil spill prevention, control, and countermeasures, or SPCC Plans. EPA is currently inspecting Greka facilities throughout the region to determine what control measures are necessary to prevent future spills at Greka locations.

    For more information about the oil spill please call Rob Wise at (562) 889-2572, or visit: