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EPA FINES KERN COUNTY COMPANY $35,000 FOR UNDERGROUND WASTE INJECTION VIOLATIONS

Release Date: 10/31/2001
Contact Information: Leo Kay, Press Office, 415/744-2201

     SAN FRANCISCO   The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency fined Anadime Energy Services $35,000 last week for underground well injection violations in Western Kern County, a violation of the company's permit under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.

     The EPA cited the facility for three separate incidents in which fluids broke out from the surface between August 1998 and November 2000 at Belridge Field, roughly 20 miles west of Bakersfield, where the company operates a series of injection wells.  In addition, the EPA discovered monitoring and reporting violations associated with the permit for the injection well facility.  Prior to fining the facility, the EPA had issued two violation notices for similar problems.

     Anadime disposes of non-hazardous fluids from area businesses into wells for a fee. Fluids come from a variety of sources, including brine water from industrial water softeners and waste from municipal wastewater treatment plants.    

     "This is the third time we have notified the facility of its violations, and we believe a penalty is appropriate at this time," said Alexis Strauss, director of the Water Division of the EPA's Pacific Southwest Office.  "Our goal is for all the operations to comply with Safe Drinking Water Act requirements."

     Under the Safe Drinking Water Act, the EPA issues underground injection control permits for a variety of purposes, including fluid waste disposal (other than oil and gas production waste which is permitted by California Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources) and solution mining wells in California.  If fluid waste is not injected into the ground, these fluids would have to be stored in lagoons and other surface impoundments, or treated and disposed through alternative means.

     Anadime is one of only nine facilities throughout the state with an EPA permit to dispose of non- hazardous waste in injection wells.  While most injection wells are 2,000 to 3,000 feet deep, Anadime's are only 300 feet because there is no groundwater found at that depth at Belridge Field.

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