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Regional Board Files $8.5 Million Complaint Against Greka Energy

The company is accused of failing to comply with a cleanup and abatement order; a hearing will be held in Santa Barbara in October.

Assemblyman Pedro Nava, D-Santa Barbara, announced Tuesday that the California Regional Water Quality Control Board Central Coast Region has filed an $8.5 million complaint against Greka Energy for its failure to comply with a cleanup and abatement order issued Dec. 20, 2006.

The board filed the complaint over Greka Energy’s failure to comply with the order for its leases at Casmalia, Cat Canyon, Santa Maria Valley and Zaca oil fields. The complaint accuses Greka of violating the requirements of the order by failing to properly remove hazardous wastes and soils by spills of crude oil and kerosene diesel diluents.

“I am pleased that the state of California through the California Regional Water Quality Control Board is taking action on this environmental disaster,” Nava said. “It is unacceptable that an egregious violator such as Greka Energy can pollute for years and not be held accountable and forced to clean up their act.”

A hearing on the complaint is scheduled for Oct. 16-17 in Santa Barbara. At the hearing, the board will decide whether to affirm, reject, decrease or increase the proposed $8.5 million fine or to refer the matter to the California attorney general.

Greka Energy is a multinational corporation in Santa Barbara County that has had a series of catastrophic onshore oil spills where more than 500,000 gallons of crude oil and processed water have been spilled during the past eight years and almost 300,000 during the past several months.

John Mann is a spokesman for Assemblyman Pedro Nava, D-Santa Barbara.

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