Major oil corporation Chevron spilled 800,000 gallons of crude oil and water into a dry creek in Southern California. While the spill is estimated to contain mostly water, experts estimate that between 240,000 and 265,000 gallons of crude oil were spilled— making it in the largest oil spill in California’s recent history.
The spill first occurred on May 10 and stopped immediately, however it began to seep again on June 8 and continued to spill into the creek until June 23. The head of California’s Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources first cited Chevron with a violation and asked them to stop extraction within that area, however, since the company did not act swiftly the head of the Division has now ordered the corporation to completely stop the spill and take measures to prevent such spills in the future.
The increased citation came on the head of the Division’s second day in the position, after his predecessor was fired by Governor Gavin Newson for issuing more fracking permits than the state typically awards.
Since the spill occurred in a dry creek in Kern County, it has caused as much damage as it would have in an active watershed. Therefore, the spill has been fairy contained with limited impact to surrounding wildlife. The spill is close to Bakersfield, one of the state’s major agricultural areas.
“The Chevron spill clearly shows that California needs stronger climate leadership from the governor,” Greenpeace USA’s executive director said to local news KQED. “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”
Company officials only began to clean up the spill on July 12 and casually reported that they would “review the order” from the state.
Image via ArtBrom