The Environmental Protection Agency completed a clean-up operation on 5/23 at Greka Energy’s Bell Lease, the site of two large-scale oil spills. After Greka failed to meet certain procedural clean-up requirements stemming from its 12/7 and 1/29 spills at the Palmer Road facility just north of Los Alamos, the EPA took control on 4/1 and, to date, about 5,000 cubic yards of polluted soil have been removed from the area. (/greka529)
On 5/23, the Santa Barbara County Fire Department sent a wildland firefighting strike team to help battle the Summit Fire in the Santa Cruz Mountains, which has since been contained. The Santa Barbara team of 18 firefighters, five brush engine companies, a team leader, and a trainee are part of the 2,631 men and women fighting the fire, which has burned more than 4,270 acres and destroyed at least 50 buildings. The team traveled to Christmas Park outside the town of Gilroy.