Hacker Creek Owner Fined $215,000
Pacific Giant Salamander after Hacker Creek Diesel Spill
According to an article in today’s Time Standard, Albert Tordjman, owner of the Hacker Creek property where a diesel spill of approximately 1000 gallons occurred this last May, has been fined $215,000. The fine occurs on top of cleanup costs estimated to be around $200,000. In addition, criminal charges may be brought or civil charges filed.
The spill exacerbated increasing local concerns with marijuana grows. Environmental damage resulting from diesel generators powering illegal off the electric grid pot operations is perceived to be extensive by many in the community. In fact, monthly meetings are being held at the Vet’s Hall on the last Wednesday of each month to discuss the problem.
Melissa Martel of the Division of Environmental Health at the Dept. of Health and Human Services gave me some tips on how to use diesel as safely as possible. Following these procedures can save the environment whether the diesel is used to power generators, cars or agricultural equipment.
Secondary Containment is of Paramount importance. It can be as simple as a swimming pool, a dirt berm or semi-permanent bricks with a petroleum-resistant containment liner (such as a pond liner.)
Secondary containment needs to be:
- Preferably under cover of a roof
- 110% of original container (fuel tank)
- Plus [be able to contain the] max 24 hour rainfall, if maintained daily–more if otherwise
Maintenance procedures need to include:
- Weekly inspections of the entire system
- Routine inspections of all outlets during refueling
- Regular inspection of the secondary containment to make sure material in not compromised [leaking]
Furthermore, the document urges that fuel tanks be situated so that they can’t be damaged by vehicles and warns that “power outages can cause opening of valves, particularly celluloid valves.” The document reminds that
All fuel, chemical pesticides, and fertilizers need to be treated as toxic waste
- [Kept] under cover of roof
- Kept sealed, even when empty
Hazardous Waste can be disposed of from 9am to 1 pm Friday and Saturday at the Hazardous Waste Disposal at 1059 Hawthorne in Eureka
- 15 gallon Household limit
- Container size determines limit (2 gallons in a 5 gallon container is considered 5 gallons)
- No appointment necessary
Finally, the document warns, that if a spill occurs, you deal with the county if it is only soil, but “if water contamination is involved you deal with the state and your neighbors!”
The cost of putting in containment is minimal compared to the serious fines the Hacker Creek owner now has to deal with.
Here is a link to the property’s sale page.
Links to earlier stories: