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Ventura oil spills

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  • Paul Jenkin
    Impacts from local oil production: Company to pay $98,000 in oil-spill settlement Aera will also have to boost leak prevention By Raul Hernandez Wednesday,
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 21, 2009
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      Impacts from local oil production:

      Company to pay $98,000 in oil-spill settlement
      Aera will also have to boost leak prevention

      By Raul Hernandez
      Wednesday, January 21, 2009

      An oil- and natural gas-producing company in Ventura County, without
      admitting any wrongdoing, will pay more than $98,000 in penalties,
      fees and other costs as a result of six oil spills, officials
      announced Tuesday.

      The spills occurred between March 26, 2006, and Jan. 5, 2008, District
      Attorney Greg Totten said in a prepared statement. Petroleum or
      residuals of petroleum reached creeks or waterways in six incidents in
      violation of state law, prosecutors alleged.

      Aera Energy LLC, a California company that owns and operates about
      4,300 acres of crude oil- and natural gas-producing property in the
      county, also will be required to take other actions under the
      permanent injunction obtained Friday by the district attorney in the
      environmental protection civil case, which was filed against Aera on
      Dec. 26.

      The injunction requires the company to install a supplemental oil
      spill containment basin in Canada De Las Encinas, a tributary to the
      Ventura River, by the end of this year, according to Laurel McWaters,
      deputy district attorney.

      The judgment requires the company to pay $80,000 in civil penalties,
      with half of that going to the Ventura County Fish and Wildlife
      Propagation Fund and the other half to the California Fish and Game
      Preservation Fund, McWaters said.

      Aera will also be required to pay $4,415 for investigative costs
      incurred by the Department of Fish and Game, $4,244 as restitution for
      natural resource damages and $10,000 to the Environmental Project of
      the California District Attorneys Association.

      Aera Energy agreed to settle to “avoid costly and uncertain
      litigation,” according to a statement issued by Susan C. Hersberger, a
      company spokeswoman. She said the company cooperated with the district
      attorney and takes these matters “very seriously.”

      “The spills covered by the settlement were reported immediately to the
      appropriate agencies and thoroughly cleaned up with no lasting impact
      to the environment,” Hersberger said, adding that the company
      continues to make progress in addressing leaks and spills through
      pipeline testing, inspection and replacement and other steps.

      Prosecutors allege that the incidents involved East Hall Canyon Creek,
      Canyon Creek, Cable Canyon Creek and Hall Canyon Creek.

      McWaters said the Department of Fish and Game will continue to monitor
      the company and make sure it complies with the injunction.


      Paul Jenkin
      Surfrider Foundation - Ventura Campaign Coordinator
      805-648-4005 pjenkin@...

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