• Monterey County Settles with Chevron, Inc. over Oiled Bird Deaths


    Monterey County District Attorney Dean D. Flippo announced that the office’s Consumer and Environmental Protection Unit has reached a settlement with Chevron U.S.A. Inc. for violations of the California Fish and Game Code and Title 14 of the California Code of Regulations related to a taking of non-game migratory birds.

    Chevron U.S.A. Inc. operates an oil field production facility in San Ardo, located in southern Monterey County. In April 2014, 37 Vaux’s Swift birds entered an unsecured Chevron vault through an opening, apparently seeking warmth on an unusually cold night. The birds, a species on the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act List and also designated as a Species of Special Concern by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, were exposed to oily water in that vault and 31 of the 37 perished from exposure.

    After the April 2014 bird deaths, Chevron immediately took steps to prevent future incidents of this nature. Chevron built and installed boxes to screen off that type of vault so that birds cannot enter, Chevron staff members were trained on box/vault procedures, and a full rundown of the San Ardo facility was conducted to check for other gaps.

    In addition to implementing these procedures, Chevron U.S.A. Inc. worked very cooperatively with the District Attorney’s office to quickly resolve this case. Chevron U.S.A. Inc. agreed to a total settlement of just over $47,000, which includes civil penalties, investigative costs, and a $5,000 supplemental environmental project, which was awarded to Pacific Wildlife Care, the Morro Bay wildlife rehabilitation organization that cared for the oiled birds. The terms of the settlement also provide for a permanent injunction, which requires Chevron U.S.A. Inc. to comply with Fish and Wildlife laws and regulations related to migratory birds.

    posted to Cedar Street Times on January 10, 2015

    Topics: Front PG News, Green


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