California company fined for pollution

Jun 15, 2007

A California refinery has been fined $1 million for threatening groundwater supplies by dumping oil refinery waste into its wells, U.S. officials said.

Santa Maria Refining Co., a subsidiary of Greka Energy Corp., was sentenced to three years probation and ordered to pay a $1 million penalty for violating the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. Half of the fine is to be applied to the Los Padres National Forest Restoration Project.

Santa Maria Refining pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court and was sentenced last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Friday.

Federal investigators determined that Santa Maria Refining dumped wastewater containing benzene into injection wells that could have seeped into groundwater supplies. Benzene can cause anemia, excessive bleeding and cancer, as well as damage the immune system.

The three Santa Maria Refining officials who pleaded guilty in the case each face up to five years in federal prison.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: Tourists evacuated amid Iceland volcano concerns

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Physics to the rescue of the fresco

Jul 17, 2006

When Florence was hit by disastrous floods in 1966, art conservation experts rushed to the city to save as many priceless pieces of art as they could. Now Florentine scientists have developed a tool to help restorers preserve ...

Recommended for you

Climate change: meteorologists preparing for the worst

2 hours ago

Intense aerial turbulence, ice storms and scorching heatwaves, huge ocean waves—the world's climate experts forecast apocalyptic weather over the coming decades at a conference in Montreal that ended Thursday.

Sunlight, not microbes, key to CO2 in Arctic

2 hours ago

The vast reservoir of carbon stored in Arctic permafrost is gradually being converted to carbon dioxide (CO2) after entering the freshwater system in a process thought to be controlled largely by microbial ...

Drying Sierra meadows could worsen California drought

3 hours ago

Carpeting the high valleys of Yosemite and other parts of the Sierra Nevada, mountain meadows are more than an iconic part of the California landscape. The roughly 17,000 high altitude meadows help regulate ...

User comments : 0