September 2, 2014
SHAFTER, Calif. (AP) - An oil company will pay a $60,000 penalty for discharging fracking fluid into an unlined pit in Kern County.
Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board said in a statement Friday that Vintage Production California discharged saline water and hydraulic fracturing liquid into an unlined pit for 12 days last year. The pit was next to a newly drilled oil well near Shafter, about 20 miles northwest of Bakersfield.
The board said the discharge posed a threat to groundwater quality.
A YouTube video of the activity led to an investigation by the board.
Vintage Production, a subsidiary of Occident Petroleum, agreed to stop discharging to unlined pits in agricultural areas.
Fracking involves pumping huge amounts of water, sand and chemicals into deep rock formations to release oil or natural gas.