Search warrant application documents prepared by the Ventura County District Attorney as part of their investigation regarding Santa Clara Waste Water in Santa Paula contain information regarding a separate investigation which began in 2014 involving Anterra Oilfield Waste Services, with offices in Santa Paula and a waste facility in Oxnard.
The documents state Anterra, is being investigated by the District Attorney because the company is "suspected of accepting and disposing of hazardous waste in violation of the California Health and Safety Code," according to the search warrant documents prepared by Jeff Barry, District Attorney Investigator III, Consumer and Environmental Protection Unit - Major Fraud Division, Ventura County District Attorney's Office.
Scroll down to view the documents.
The document goes on to state, "During the investigation in early September 2014, I interviewed Anterra President Sally Coleman. After concluding the interview, Coleman took me aside and told me the District Attorney's office should be investigating SCWWC (Santa Clara Waste Water) and she pointed to the SCWWC facility down the street from Anterra's offices on Mission Rock Road in Santa Paula. Coleman chose not to elaborate and said she would tell me more information after consulting with her attorney." Barry goes on to report, "I made several attempts to follow up with Coleman and her attorney. Coleman was unwilling to cooperate with me regarding her initial allegations concerning SCWWC. I contacted her in person and pleaded for her cooperation. In the presence of my supervisor, ultimately Coleman said she would only talk if I would persuade local county elected officials to change permit rules to allow Anterra to accept additional truckloads of waste at their facility. I refused."
The DA investigation into Anterra is on going.
VCInFocus will be reporting on more contained in the lengthy documents.
The Ventura County Grand Jury has indicted Santa Clara Waste Water Company, Green Compass Environmental Solutions of Santa Paula. Charges include conspiracy to dispose of hazardous waste (the company was only permitted to handle non-hazardous waste), failure to warn of a serious concealed danger, and more including the injury of people when a truck on the company's property exploded in Nov. 2014.
Below is the VCDA press release indicating the charges and those individuals who have been arrested:
In the days leading up to this weeks arrests of employees and top executives at Santa Clara Waste Water (SCWW) , also known as Green Compass in Santa Paula, the company was dealing with a determination by the Environmental Health division of the County of Ventura that certain waste storage tanks on their Santa Paula property required further analysis and do not qualify for the "hazardous waste exclusion" allowed in the Code of Federal Regulations.
"Additional analytical testing is required to complete the hazardous waste determination for the following reasons," stated Melinda Talent, Ventura County Environmental Health Division in the August 5, 2015 letter to Brian Baca of Ventura County Planning. The reasons listed were as follows:
The letter informed SCWW they needed to complete a "hazardous waste determination by conducting the required testing to verify barium, lead and benzene do not exceed federal and/or state limits." These determinations were required prior to removing any of the waste from those tanks.
According to the letter one of the tanks SCWW reported was as not having any hazardous waste characteristics in fact was found to have a barium concentration of "2,000 mg/kg, exceeding 10X the Soluble Threshold Limit Concentration (in California). The waste is a potential California hazardous waste and must be removed from this category and added to the list of tanks that require further testing."
Following receiving that letter, Baca sent a copy of it, along with the email text below to Rob Dal Farra and John Hecht of Sespe Consulting, a Ventura based environmental and land use/planning firm. Sespe has represented SCWW in the past. (read the full letter also attached below)
At least 24 hours prior to fluid disposal or tank removal, EHD and Planning Division staff (Craig Cooper 805-654-2127; Brian R. Baca, 805-654-5192) must be notified of the specific actions to be taken. EHD or Planning staff may monitor the removal activities. These removal activities are hereby authorized pursuant to the April 20, 2015 Emergency Use Authorization issued by the County Planning Division.
SCWW has been in hot water since later last year when an explosion rocked the Santa Paula location, requiring hazardous material clean up.
Following an investigation after an explosion at the waste disposal facility in Santa Paula the Ventura County District Attorney has arrested seven employees, including top executives.
Story here: http://www.vcstar.com/news/local-news/county-news/da-arrests-seven-employees-of-wastewater-plant_06409894