From the Ventura County Star, news today of a police bust of an injection well site in Oxnard — the only site in the county that accepts fracking fluid for disposal purposes.
OXNARD, Calif. – Investigators from the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office converged on the site of a local oil field waste company outside Oxnard on Thursday with search warrants.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Christopher Harman said investigators arrived at Anterra Corp.’s waste disposal site on East Wooley Road outside Oxnard on Thursday morning. The company’s headquarters in Santa Paula was also served, he said.
Harman said he could provide no further details about the open investigation of possible criminal violations.
Anterra officials had no prior warning of the searches and had not been interviewed by any agency before the investigators arrived, company attorney Jim Prosser said Thursday.
Prosser said he understands that investigators are looking at company activities in and around July 2013, when Anterra was under different management. He declined to say who was managing the company at that time, saying he didn’t know enough about the circumstances and the time period under investigation.
Interesting, but the timing mentioned by the corporation doesn't seem to jibe with this note from our local watchdog group, CFROG, which posted this a month ago about what sounded like an on-going dispute between the county and the corporation.
The Ventura County planning department is alleging that in just five months, at the Anterra Waste injection wells in Oxnard , the company injected 19.2 million gallons or 457 thousand barrels or of waste into two disposal wells on East Wooley road. (42 gallons = 1 barrel) They allegedly accepted a total of 4350 tanker trucks when the CUP allows 3096. (still far too many for safety in Oxnard in our opinion.) That's 1254 trucks coming down our highways and streets in violation of the current permit according to Ventura County. Class II underground injection wells. can take any fluid related to oil and gas drilling, including fracking waste water.
Anterra is appealing the decision on some interesting grounds including claims that planning manager Brian Baca is unethical and a hearing will be held October 23rd.
For some reason the Star story today did not mention this dispute over the volumes of fluids being disposed beneath Oxnard, although you must figure it's at the root of the conflict. It's well-known among geologists that there are thresholds to be attained before seismicity becomes possible. which is why the volume of fluids can be a crucial matter. But the paper has three reporters on this, so I'm sure we haven't heard the end of it.
Was just talking today with a geophysicist at UCSB who said a new study from CalTech found "induced seismicity" — earthquakes connected to injection wells — at a handful of injection wells sites in Kern County, out of a total of 1600.
So why worry? Right?
But the Ventura County D.A. has issues, clearly, when they send what looks like a SWAT to collect records from a corporation. Why the urgency if they're investigating what happened a year ago?
Follow-up from a commentator, Quiet against the Noise, in the "comm boxes" below the newspaper story, who seems to know more than all the rest of us put together. See here (or below the fold).