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Oil Spill Reported at Greka Union Sugar Lease Tank Battery

The Santa Barbara County Fire Department responded to a reported oil spill at 4:01 p.m. Thursday at the Greka Union Sugar Lease Tank Battery.

The location is directly east of the Santa Maria refinery, surrounded by agricultural fields, between the 1500 blocks of Sinton and Black roads. Fire personnel responded with an engine company and a hazardous materials specialist. They found that there had been a mechanical failure at an injection pump. It caused a large pipe manifold to be displaced several feet, forcing it into and damaging one of the tanks and causing a leak of crude oil and produced water into the secondary containment of the tank battery.

A vacuum truck was already in the process of removing fluids when responders arrived. Greka’s estimate of spilled product is 1,500 barrels (63,000 gallons) of produced water and five barrels (210 gallons) of crude oil.

A stop work order took effect at 5 p.m. Friday. The order was issued because of the nature of the failure, the amount of damage to vessels and equipment, and the pre-existing conditions at the facility. No importation of well production liquids will be allowed, and Greka will be required to safeguard the waste water tank and wash tanks in an approved manner.

Notifications were made to the County Petroleum Division, the Air Pollution Control District, the County and State Offices of Emergency Services, Environmental Health Services, the State Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources, and State Fish and Game.

Eli Iskow is a captain with the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.

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