State: Several Illegal Oil Wastewater Pits in Region

The Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board says over 200 oil industry wastewater pits are being operated without proper permits.

George Kostyrko is with the agency and says many of those ponds are in Kern County, and they’ll likely have to issue some cleanup and closure orders in the future.

“We’re very, very concerned about ensuring that the groundwater and the surface water in the lower part of the central valley,” he said. “If they have a beneficial use, (we want them) preserved for that beneficial use.”

Kostyrko says there are a total of about 600 active ponds in the region. The agency says it will monitor legal and illegal pits between now and next December.

– Anthony Pollreisz