EPA to take over cleanup efforts at Greka Oil
The U.S. EPA said it will take control of cleanup efforts at Greka Oil and Gas’s Gato Ponds site near Santa Maria because the energy company has failed to meet multiple deadlines. Greka could face fines of up to $32,500 per day for its violations.
Greka has spilled an estimated 630,000 gallons of crude oil and processed water in the last eight years, nearly half of that within the past year.
The EPA ordered the Gato Ponds cleanup because the leaking reservoirs are near Cat Canyon Creek, which flows to the Santa Maria River and then into the Pacific Ocean.
This marks the third time the EPA has stepped into take over cleanups: The agency took charge in 2005 following a spill on the company’s Zaca lease and again earlier this year after a spill on Greka’s Bell lease.
The EPA will seek reimbursement for its efforts.