Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Oil company caught dumping wastewater, Water Board investigating

Oil company caught dumping wastewater, Water Board investigating, A local oil company is in hot water with the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board (the Board) after a YouTube video appeared to show the company discharging hydraulic fracking wastewater into an unlined retention pond during a fracking operation. The Board announced yesterday that it issued an investigative enforcement order to Vintage Production California LLC after the video was brought to its attention.

The Board is concerned that the Vintage discharge was done without the proper permits and may have posed a risk to groundwater quality. According to the Board, groundwater in the area is used for both agricultural and drinking purposes. The discharge occurred near a recently drilled well near the City of Shafter in Kern County.

Board Executive Officer Pamela Creedon issued the order on April 4 and gave Vintage until May 6, 2013, to report back with details on the operation of the well. Vintage must provide a technical report that characterizes the discharge water, identify impacts to surface and groundwater quality, and provide a plan on how it will come into compliance with environmental regulations.

“When any unpermitted water discharge activities are brought to our attention, especially one that may involve hazardous materials, we will move swiftly to ensure our regional surface and ground waters are not compromised,” Creedon said. “Following our investigation we will take the appropriate steps, which could result in the issuance of one or more enforcement orders that may include a cease and desist order, a cleanup and abatement order, and may also include civil liabilities.”

Vintage is a subsidiary of Occidental Petroleum Corporation with offices here in Bakersfield. Ironically, in 2010, the California Division of Oil, Gas & Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) awarded Vintage the Outstanding Lease Award for Pleito Oil Field, North Shafter Oil Field.

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