BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — Nearly two years since a gas leak in Arvin, the state Department of Conservation Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources has issued a fine of $75,000 against Petro Capital Resources of Bakersfield for violations related to the leak.
According to DOGGR, Petro Capital Resources "failed to test, operate, and/or maintain oilfield production facilities (pipelines) in accordance with good oil field practice so as to prevent a gaseous leak causing damage and potential damage that occurred in a pipeline within its control."
Eight families living on Nelson Court in Arvin were suddenly evacuated from their homes on March 18, 2014, after the gas leak was detected.
The leak had saturated the soil and had seeped inside homes. Prior to the leak being discovered, families said they had experienced headaches, nausea, nose bleeds and feeling light-headed. At least one resident was pregnant at the time and she worried about potential health consequences for her unborn baby.
Residents also noted vegetation and trees on their properties had died. DOGGR has not been able to determine the duration of the leak before it was accidentally discovered.
The families were displaced for months while DOGGR oversaw a clean-up investigation and eventually determined that it was safe for the families to return to their homes in December 2015. But families were not convinced it was safe to return, but said they had no other choice.
Eyewitness News placed calls to the office of Petro Capital Resources and to its president, Jeff Williams for comment. Our calls have not yet been returned.