Jul 16, 2018

Environmental Group Sues Energy Co. Over Clean Water Act Violations

The energy company has allegedly been illegally discharging polluted storm water into Orcutt Creek and San Antonio Creek

Environmental group sues energy company over Clean Water Act violations
Environmental group sues energy company over Clean Water Act violations

The Environmental Defense Center (EDC) filed suit against the Pacific Coast Energy Co. (PCEC) over violations of the Clean Water Act. The suit alleges that PCEC, based in Santa Barbara County, Calif., has been illegally discharging polluted storm water into Orcutt Creek and San Antonio Creek, including total suspended solids, oil and grease and other potential pollutants. Furthermore, the suit alleges that the company has failed to conduct sampling and monitoring of its storm water discharges.

According to EDC, the energy company has more than 100 documented oil spills and seeps caused by their Orcutt Hill operation and was denied an application to expand its drilling operations by 144 wells in 2016. The suit argues that PCEC has consistently discharged polluted storm water runoff and failed to take corrective action to address the pollution. 

“PCEC’s polluted runoff is especially concerning given the facility’s egregious history of oil spills, which includes over 100 documented spills at the Orcutt Hill operation,” said EDC Staff Attorney Alicia Roessler. “According to its own data, the facility has been discharging polluted storm water into our creeks and rivers for the past several years.” 

EDC’s suit against PCEC follows their April 17, 2018 notice of intent to sue.

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