The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has ordered Greka to determine whether its Santa Maria refinery is contaminating local soil and groundwater.
Greka conducts oil drilling operations. Its Santa Maria facility is surrounded by agricultural land and not far from residential neighborhoods in Santa Maria and Guadalupe.
EPA investigators served a search warrant at Greka’s Santa Maria offices on Dec. 13, 2018. The facility does not have a permit to store hazardous waste, but the investigators reportedly found that Greka had improperly stored, labeled and managed hazardous waste from its refinery processes.
The EPA says its inspectors documented waste being dumped into an unlined pit just 90 feet from an agricultural field.
The EPA’s order requires Greka to come up with a plan to monitor the groundwater and soil, document any off-site hazardous waste contamination, and prevent any additional contamination.
The company has 45 days to submit its plan to the EPA.