Mar 14, 2019

California Energy Supplier Ordered to Sample Groundwater

The supplier’s Santa Maria refinery is ordered to sample contaminated soils and groundwater

California energy supplier must sample contaminated groundwater

The U.S. EPA ordered Greka, an energy supplier in Santa Barbara County, Calif., to conduct sampling at its Santa Maria, Calif., refinery to determine whether improper storage and management of hazardous wastes contaminated local soil and groundwater.

A Dec. 13, 2018, EPA inspection found Greka’s facility, which does not have a required permit to store hazardous waste, had improperly stored, labeled and managed hazardous waste from their refinery processes. EPA inspectors documented waste dumped directly into an unlined pit, also known as a surface impoundment, located 90 ft from agricultural lands.   

This order requires Greka to develop a plan to determine and catalogue the magnitude and extent of possible off-site migration of hazardous wastes. The work plan must provide extensive information on the surface impoundment, including age, capacity, structural integrity, construction and maintenance procedures. Greka must analyze the hazardous waste and develop a comprehensive groundwater and soil monitoring plan to ensure contamination is not migrating off-site. The company has 45 days to submit the plan to EPA for approval.

The EPA is coordinating its investigation with the California Department of Toxic Substances Control and the Regional Water Quality Control Board to ensure effective oversight of the facility.

Greka’s Santa Maria facility is surrounded by agricultural land and close to residential neighborhoods of Santa Maria and Guadalupe.