The Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board on Nov15 announced that Vintage Production California LLC has agreed to pay a $60,00penalty for discharging hydraulic fracturing fluid into an unlined sump in violation of the California Water Code.The penalty is the result of a settlement agreement between Vintage and the SVRWQCB prosecution team and is the maximum penalty allowable under the state Water Code.
The prosecution team’s investigation determined that Vintage periodically discharged saline water, formation fluids, and hydraulic fracturing fluid to an unlined sump for 12 days. The sump was next to a newly drilled Vintage oil well near the City of Shafter in Kern County.
The investigation began after a YouTube video was brought to the prosecution team’s attention.
More Citrus Pyslids In Tulare County
County Ag Commissioner confirms more finds of the Asian Citrus Pysllid pest, a major threat to the state’s citrus industry.The latest finds this month were in the Lemon Cove area, another between Exeter and Farmersville and a third in the Richgrove area add up a total of 10 so far this fall.As of now, 300 square miles in the county is quarantined with the chances more land will be added,perhaps the entire county.The latest finds in traps did not include any live psyllids.
The most recent meeting of the board of the Tulare Regional Medical Center heard that a board committee was meeting with 5 potential alignment partners for the financially troubled district.
Board member Sherri Bell says they hope to have a management agreement with one entity in the next 2 months the Tulare Voice newspaper reported.
The district remains at odds with its contractor on its stalled tower project with Harris Construction saying in court papers it was concerned the district did not have the money to complete the big project.
Lemoore Mayor Allegedly Sends Bruising Email
An email supposedly sent by Lemoore Mayor Billy Siegel has prompted a local educator who publishes an on-line newspaper – The Lemoore Leader – to threaten to sue the city and call for Siegel’s resignation as the town’s mayor. The two community leaders ahve been at odds politically.
The story was detailed recently in the Hanford Sentinel. The Sentinel says “In a Sept. 1 message obtained by The Sentinel, Siegel accuses former mayor and city councilman Ed Martin of having “homosexual tendencies” and an “infatuation with young boys.” He further stated that Martin has considered “self termination” and has a “serious chemicals (sic) imbalance.”
Siegel went on to offer the City Council’s help to assist and guide Martin “on a path away from your troubled journey.”
The message is signed “William Siegel, Mayor, City of Lemoore.”
Besides Martin, several city officials were copied on the message, including Acting City Manager Jeff Laws, Parks and Recreation Director Joe Simonson and Councilman John Gordon.
Martin says the email, which was sent from Siegel’s personal account at 3:43 a.m. Sept. 1, is baseless. He has since filed a legal claim for damages against Siegel and the city.