Keith Hamm

The sustained push toward permanently sealing the Becker wellhead ​— ​which has been leaking sticky crude off Summerland Beach for years ​— ​took another step recently, with the release of the proposed capping project’s draft environmental impact report (EIR). Becker is just one of Summerland’s nearly 200 so-called legacy wells abandoned about a century ago. Last year, the state set aside $700,000 to study Becker and draft the EIR; another $700,000 has been earmarked for the capping effort, pending Governor Brown’s budget approval mid-June. The State Lands Commission ( is presenting the draft EIR and fielding public comments on 6/7 at Carpinteria City Hall. The report’s public-comment window closes 7/5. Meanwhile, Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson’s SB 44, now making its way through the State Senate, aims to build a fund ​— ​derived from state mineral leases ​— ​to identify and properly remediate problem wells on an annual basis. Leaky wells also exist off Ellwood.


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