Friday, May 30, 2008

Greka spills 63,000 gallons of polluted water


Santa Barbara County Fire crews responded to an oil spill at a Greka Energy facility Thursday, where 1,500 barrels of polluted water and five barrels of crude oil spewed from a hole in a tank.
County Fire Capt. Eli Iskow said the tank was damaged after an injection pump failed, which caused a pipe manifold to fly several feet and collide with the tank.

The chain of incidents occurred at the Greka Union Sugar Lease, which is surrounded by agricultural fields between the 1500 blocks of Sinton Road and Black Road.
When fire and hazardous material units arrived on the scene at 4:01 p.m., Iskow said Greka was already in the process of sucking up the spilled material with a vacuum truck.
The amount in gallons of spilled oil is about 210, while 63,000 gallons of polluted water was spilled.
Iskow said a stop-work order, which ceases all work at the facility until improvements are made, was put into effect at 5 p.m. yesterday.
The spill is the latest in a string of incidents stretching to late 2007 that have prompted a wave of criticism against the embattled company, which is responsible for several times more spills than other local oil and gas companies.
The spills have prompted regulatory agencies, such as the County of Santa Barbara, to enact more stringent policies when dealing with polluters. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has in recent months assumed control of cleanup efforts at one Greka facility.

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