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SB County Petroleum Lawsuit Dismissed

Judge Rejected Greka Energy’s Case Against Ordinance


A U.S. District Court judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed against Santa Barbara County and its petroleum administrator, Michael Zimmer, by Greka Energy in January. The court agreed with the county’s motion to dismiss the case, and did so with prejudice. Greka had asserted that a recent amendment to a county ordinance was unconstitutional. It alleged that the ordinance unfairly lumped together the same company’s non-offending facilities with spill-prone facilities. Greka, the county’s most notorious spiller of oil, also questioned the definition of the term “high-risk operator,” which is defined in the ordinance as an oil company whose facilities have suffered an inordinately high number of spills in a given year.

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