Two months and 800,000 gallons (three million litres) of crude oil-contaminated water later, Chevron Corporation has been ordered by California officials “to take all measures” to shut down an oil spill into a dry creek bed in Kern County and prevent any and all future disasters.
The order was issued just a day after Governor Gavin Newsom fired the head of the state’s division of oil, gas and geothermal resources, following “a significant rise in fracking permits,” EcoWatch reports. The spill began May 10, and grew into the state’s biggest in recent memory.
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“The Chevron spill clearly shows that California needs stronger climate leadership from the governor,” said Greenpeace USA Executive Director Annie Leonard. “Oil and gas infrastructure will never be free from spills and leaks or from spewing climate pollution. We face a growing public health crisis and climate emergency stoked by rampant oil and gas development.”
Chevron estimated about 70% of the spill was water, “leaving 240,000 gallons of oil,” EcoWatch writes. Regulators pegged that figure about 25,000 gallons higher.
A day after the state order was issued, a Department of Conservation spokesperson said the spill was contained. But by that time, it was “larger than both the 2015 spill that dumped 140,000 gallons of crude oil onto Refugio State Beach and the 2007 spill of 54,000 gallons of oil into San Francisco Bay.” However, “it has been less devastating since it was not near an active waterway, and has not significantly impacted wildlife, both company and state officials said.”
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