Already the most frequent onshore oil polluter in Santa Barbara County, Greka Energy spilled again earlier this afternoon, leaking at least 420 gallons of crude at a facility just south of Santa Maria, according to Santa Barbara County Fire officials. Tipped off about the spill with a 911 call shortly after 3 p.m. today, authorities are reporting that between 10 and 15 barrels of oil and an unknown amount of produced water spilled out of a broken production line and onto Palmer Road near Greka’s Bell Lease. Initial reports indicate the spill has not reached the nearby Sisquoc River seasonal tributary. As a result of the mishap, California Highway Patrol has closed Palmer Road in between Highway 101 and Dominion Road.
The Bell Lease facility, after a spill last winter, was temporarily shut down by county officials and had its clean-up efforts federalized by Environmental Protection Agency before being allowed to reopen in April.