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Aera Energy LLC and Baker Petrolite Corp.

Ventura County, CA: (Jun-12-07) The Ventura County District Attorney's Office brought a civil and unlawful business practices lawsuit against Aera Energy LLC, an oil extracting company out of Bakersfield, and Baker Petrolite Corp. of Houston, over their involvement in the accidental release of a chemical that caused several Ventura apartment buildings to be evacuated. At about 6 pm on November 15, 2006, the Fire Department evacuated apartment buildings around Franklin Lane and North Ventura Avenue after more than 300 people called, complaining of burning eyes and irritated noses and throats. The accidental chemical release occurred during a delivery by a Baker Petrolite employee to an Aera Energy oil production facility off Ventura Avenue. Investigations revealed that several pounds of the chemical were released, which could prove hazardous to humans as well as damage the environment.

In a settlement reached, Aera Energy and Baker Petrolite must pay civil penalties, restitution, and costs of $173,872. Aera also was cited for failing to apply for a permit from the Ventura Fire Department for the use and handling of the chemical acrolein at the facility. Both companies agreed to terms of a permanent injunction that includes requiring Baker Petrolite to notify the Fire Department of county deliveries. [VENTURA COUNTY STAR: CHEMICAL LEAK]

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Published on Jun-13-07


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