In early July, our sister station KQED first reported a huge oil seep in the Cymric Oilfield of western Kern County. At that time, hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil had been bubbling up to the surface for more than two months, yet neither the public nor lawmakers had been notified.
Then, in early August, the state announced the seep appeared to have stopped and cleanup efforts had begun. However, that wasn’t the end of the story—environmental groups worry the incident continues to put soil and groundwater at risk, and regulators revealed that Chevron, the company operating the lease where the oil reached the surface, has just been issued a violation for a much bigger seep that’s been growing intermittently in the same oilfield since 2003.
To find out more, FM89’s Kerry Klein spoke with KQED News Editor Ted Goldberg, who originally broke this story to the public.