The Regional Water Quality Control Board announced that it’s seeking fines and penalties of $8.5 million against North County onshore oil company Greka Energy. Greka has become the focus of intense regulatory oversight because of chronic problems with spills and environmental safety compliance. An October hearing will determine how much of the $8.5 million Greka will pay.

Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi stressed the need to assess the financial aftermath of the Gap Fire at a 7/16 press conference in Goleta. Among other areas of concern, Garamendi noted that areas denuded of vegetation by the blaze-many of which are owned by the federal government-are located uphill from residences that could suffer flooding during heavy rainfall and, consequently, restoration funds for these areas should come from the federal level. (/garamendi724)

Trash hauler MarBorg Industries debuted its new compressed natural gas (CNG)-fueled trash truck on 7/18. Company founder Mario Borgatello said that while the cost of the vehicle was nearly $40,000 more than a diesel truck, it also produces far fewer emissions and runs on cheaper fuel. He also vowed to one day replace the rest of the fleet with CNG-fueled trucks. (/cleantrashtruck)


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