April 20, 2024
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Chevron to pay over $13 million in settlement for Kern County oil spills

The California natural resources agency said on Wednesday that Chevron, will pay $13.1 million in settlement agreements with two of its agencies for past oil spills in Kern County, Bakersfield.

Chevron, which has already paid for the cleanup costs for its oil spills in 2019, will pay $5.6 million to the California Department of Conservation, and $7.5 million to California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), the agency said in a statement, as gathered by Reuters.

According to local media, Chevron had in 2019, spilled a minimum of 800,000 gallons of oil and water into a creek bed in Kern county. The fine is the largest assessed historically by both departments, the report said.

In its response, Chevron said, “The settlements demonstrate our continuing commitment to take action to address issues and prevent similar incidents in the future.

Of the money collected, $5.6 million will go towards ongoing work to plug old, orphaned wells and $7.5 million will go towards environmental enhancement projects, oil wildlife response preparedness, and future spill response funding.

As documented by CDFW, over 70 oil spills between 2018 and 2023 in Kern County attributable to Chevron, which accounted for more than 446,600 gallons (10,633 barrels) of oil spilled. The spills killed or injured at least 63 animals and impacted at least six acres of salt brush and grassland habitat, the report added.

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