NewsCovering Kern County


Kern Oil to pay $500k fine for violations at its Bakersfield petroleum refinery

Posted at 2:58 PM, Dec 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-10 20:59:58-05

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — On Tuesday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Justice announced that Kern Oil & Refining Company will pay $500,000 for alleged violations at its Bakersfield Refinery.

According to a news release sent out by EPA officials, the company failed to comply with flare emissions at the petroleum refinery. Not only will they pay the fine but Kern Oil will also pay an additional $200,000 to comply with the settlement requirements, the EPA added. Officials said Kern Oil has already installed a required flare monitor and has begun submitting required monitoring and inspection reports.

In a statement, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California, McGregor W. Scott said:

"This settlement requires Kern Oil to comply with the Clean Air Act and reinforces the monitoring and reporting requirements. The U.S. Attorney's Office is proud to work with EPA to protect the quality of the air in the Central Valley."

The settlement with Kern Oil is also said to have addressed sulfur dioxide emissions from the refinery's flare, as well as volatile organic compounds leaking from equipment such as valves, pumps, compressors, and wastewater drains.

Kern Oil sent 23ABC a statement regarding the Tuesday's announcement about the settlement:

“Kern Oil & Refining Co. (Kern) holds itself to the highest standards of professionalism and is a good community neighbor. We are a long-standing valley organization who cares deeply for our team and the people we serve.

Kern is pleased to bring this matter to closure and appreciates the collaboration of our government partners. Importantly, the issues raised as part of this settlement were from a 2015 inquiry about past reporting practices; there is no requirement that Kern change its current operating, monitoring or reporting practices. Our facility implemented swift steps to achieve compliance, and remains in compliance today because our team places the highest emphasis on ensuring that is always the case.”