Oil site an orphan no more
State officials said May 23 that they have finished dismantling a so-called “orphaned” oil production and storage site in Oxnard near an Amtrak rail line along Fifth Street.
Through its Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources, or DOGGR, the California Department of Conservation plugged the well — which has sat idle since March 2004 — after a request from the Ventura County Department of Environmental Health. From 1990 until that date, the well was operated by Yorba Linda-based Geo Petroleum, Inc. When the company shut down, its facilities were declared deserted. However, in 2005, vandals caused a 30-barrel oil spill that DOGGR paid to clean up (one barrel equals 42 gallons).
Contractors from a Bakersfield company helped DOGGR plug and abandon the wells. Another company removed 11 tanks varying from 250 barrels to 10,000 barrels in capacity, as well as other equipment. Before the tanks were demolished, vacuum trucks removed 4,000 barrels of fluid, which was then sent to a disposal and recycling facility in Bakersfield.
The project cost $219,000. Ventura County provided a $10,000 bond posted by Geo Petroleum and unforeseen costs were paid for through the sale of salvaged steam generators.
Ammonia leak leaves Oxnard Onion processors outside
An ammonia leak at an Oxnard onion processing plant sickened one employee and prompted the evacuation of 180 others, the Ventura County Star reported May 29.
A plant supervisor who detected the May 28 leak at Gills Onions was released from the hospital the same night, the article said. Employees were evacuated and taken to another building after the ammonia — which is used as a refrigerant — was detected.
The leak caused authorities to close Mountain View Ave. in Oxnard from Richmond Ave. to Rose Ave., as well as Pacific Ave. from Fifth Street to Wooley Road. Despite the closures, officials told the newspaper there was no danger beyond the plant.
River Parkway efforts flowing with grant news
The Trust for Public Land (TPL) a national nonprofit based in San Francisco and dedicated to land conservation, announced May 29 that the California State Coastal Conservancy awarded a $100,000 grant to help plan efforts for the Ventura River Parkway.
News of the grant comes on the heels of passage by the Ventura City Council of a resolution in support of the Ventura River Parkway.
The proposed project would provide new public access to the river and connect with existing regional and city trails. It would include an interpretive trail through Downtown Ventura and connecting local landmarks with the hilltop Grant Park and the river.
“Ventura is renowned for its beautiful hillsides, canyons, and rivers,” said Reed Holderman, western regional director for TPL. “But its proximity to Los Angeles puts it directly in the path of development spreading along the 101 corridor. We are working to protect one of Southern California’s last great coastal landscapes so the public can experience nature close at hand.”
Another conservation effort led by the Nature Conservancy is underway on the Santa Clara River. The new effort is planned as part of broader plans for a 10,000 acre Hillsides Preserve. TPL is working with the Ventura Hillsides Conservancy to coordinate the River Parkway efforts and hillside protection.
Farm photos sought from kids
The Ventura County 4-H and Junior Master Gardeners Program and the Ventura County Fairgrounds are sponsoring an agriculture themed photography contest open to youth living in Ventura County.
The contest is divided into age groups; 9-13 and 14-18, with four categories; agriculture products, agricultural equipment, agricultural places and agricultural people.
“We are happy to give Ventura County youth the opportunity to look around, to focus on what makes our county great and share that with the community in a personal, artistic format,” Said Susan Gloekler, Ventura County 4H Program Supervisor.
All entries will be included in a photo gallery on the Ventura County Fair Web site, and at a special reception and gallery show. Winners will be awarded prizes and will be featured at the 2007 Ventura County Fair, “An Old Fashioned Fair,” from Aug. 1 through Aug. 12.