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Local News

Regional Water Board Calls for Civil Action Against Greka

The board votes to refer the company to the attorney general for spills in Santa Barbara County

The California Regional Water Quality Control Board, Central Coast Region on Friday voted to refer Greka Oil & Gas Inc. to the attorney general for civil prosecution.

The board took the action during a public hearing in Watsonville.

Greka has been fined more than $2.6 million for more than 500,000 gallons of hazardous materials spilled in Santa Barbara County since 2003. In 2008, Greka spilled more than 157,667 gallons of contaminated water and oil.

“I applaud the board for taking this action. Greka has been fined repeatedly for violations of law,” said Assemblyman Pedro Nava, D-Santa Barbara. “I believe the attorney general will vigorously pursue this case and hold Greka accountable.”

Last year, Nava passed legislation, Assembly Bill 1960, to establish a comprehensive oil spill prevention program. The law gives increased authority to the California Department of Conservation.

This year, Nava authored Assembly Bill 305, designed to allow county district attorneys to seek jail time for polluters who make false and misleading reports on oil spills into state waters.

Noozhawk staff writer Michelle Nelson can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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