A look at the Tuesday, November 13, oil spill at Greka Energy's Santa Maria facility.

For the second time in less than 24 hours, Santa Barbara County firefighters responded to an oil spill at a Greka Energy facility in Santa Maria. First, on the afternoon of Monday, November 12, Orcutt firefighters headed out to Greka’s Bradley 3 Island Tank Battery at 3851 Telephone Road after news of leak of approximately 150 barrels of crude oil mixed with processed water into a skimmer pond. Greka staff cleaned the spill under supervision from Santa Barbara County Hazmat. A press release from County Fire spokesman Capt. Eli Iskow noted that a sulphuric odor that may have been noticed by people residing near the spill posed no threat.

The Tuesday, Nov. 13, Greka Energy oil spill
Sue De Lapa

Then, around 5:41 a.m. the following Tuesday, the same unit of Orcutt firefighters responded to another spill at the same facility. Approximately 20 barrels of crude oil had flowed onto the ground, and, unlike the previous incident, this oil contained no wastewater and no sulfurous gas. The cause of both spills spill has been identified as being an overheated or over-pressurized heating unit that resulted in the malfunction of a release valve. Neither spill posed any threat to environmentally sensitive area, Iskow said.


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