The County Fire Department has hired two additional hazardous
materials specialists to help deal with oil cleanup at some 400
sites in and near Santa Maria. Particularly hard hit are residents
of the Parksville and Sunrise Hills housing developments, built on
land contaminated by leaking oil wells. The three specialists
already working on the cleanup are so overwhelmed that they are
months behind schedule in issuing closure letters certifying
decontamination, without which residents cannot sell their land and
landowners cannot build on it. The cost of the additional employees
will be charged to the oil companies, who have assumed
responsibility for the leaks.


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