Oil Producer in the Tank for Dumping Hazardous Waste

Oxnard, CA – An oil producer has been ordered to pay $464,000 and comply with an injunction to lawfully manage its hazardous waste under a settlement announced this week by the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office.

The VC Star reports that petroleum operations acquired by California Resources Corp in 2014 had generated hazardous wastes and caused them to be unlawfully transported and disposed of at the Anterra Energy plant near Oxnard.

According to the report, Anterra was not authorized to receive hazardous waste.

In fact, Senior Deputy District Attorney Mitchell Disney said the plant accepted hazardous waste from oilfield producers stationed all over Southern California.

CRC can no longer handle, dispose, or transport hazardous waste without determining whether it is hazardous.

Disney said Anterra was not named in the settlement because the DA’s Office has already filed and settled civil charges against the business.

CRC was ordered to pay $400,000 in civil penalties, with $250,000 going to the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office. The county’s share will be placed in a fund to pay for future environmental prosecutions.

Early this year, the DA announced a $500,000 settlement with Anterra, which operates the oilfield waste disposal facility on Wooley Road outside Oxnard.

Investigators seized records in 2014 at the Oxnard facility and another one in the Santa Paula area but did not file criminal charges.

The VC Star reports that the parties involved in the allegedly illegal disposal of hazardous waste at Anterra had fled the country, making individual liability and criminal prosecution difficult.