Note: The Greka report, mentioned below, that will be discussed by the Board of Supervisors is now posted online.
County Fire Capatain Eli Iskow updated area media today on the progress of oil spill clean-up at the Greka-Davis Tank Battery facility. On January 5, an apparent machine malfunction resulted in 84,000 gallons of crude oil spilling into a seasonal tributary of the Sisquoc River. Iskow said that both the California Department of Fish & Game and the Federal Environmental Protection Agency are helming the project, which has entailed the use of a self-contained breathing apparatus – not unlike a scuba unit – for workers attempting to remove oil pooled beneath the floor of the County Road Yard building located near 5017 Zaca Station Road. Much of the oil that had spilled into the tributary, however, has been cleaned.
As reported in a news story in this week’s print edition of the Independent, Iskow also noted that a presentation on this particular Greka incident is scheduled to be presented to the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors at its January 15 meeting in Santa Maria. Contained within this report are the following three facts, which Iskow said would answer questions County Fire has been receiving lately.
First, County firefighters have responded to an estimated 400 incidents at Greka facilities since the company arrived in Santa Barbara County in 1999. The estimated cost for this activity is between $1 and $2 million.
Second, since 2003, Greka mishaps have collectively spilled 500,000 gallons of crude oil. This number, which the County obtained from Greka representatives, is alleged by Iskow’s report to be “far far greater than all other county operators combined during the same period.”
And third, the County Fire Prevention Division has “found large discrepancies between numbers reported by Greka and numbers quantified by regulatory and oversight agencies.”