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Truck spilled approximately 3,715 gal of diesel fuel
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a settlement with the SoCo Group Inc. to resolve federal claims stemming from its 2016 oil spill in San Diego. SoCo, a petroleum marketing and distribution company based in Carlsbad, Calif., has agreed to pay a civil penalty of nearly $59,400.
On May 13, 2016, a SoCo tanker truck was allegedly traveling at an unsafe speed and overturned while transitioning from Interstate 8 onto Morena Boulevard. The truck discharged approximately 88 barrels (3,715 gal) of diesel fuel, which migrated through storm drains into the San Diego River and adjoining shorelines. The river flows into Mission Bay and the Pacific Ocean.
Within minutes of the spill, the SoCo Group activated its emergency response contractor to begin cleanup and prevent further spread of the fuel. Within 72 hours, an estimated 3,000 gal were recovered. Approximately 60 cu yd of contaminated vegetation and 900 cu yd of contaminated soil were removed and disposed of at a permitted facility. EPA was one of several agencies, including the San Diego County Environmental Health’s Hazardous Materials Division, the California Highway Patrol, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, San Diego Public Works, the San Diego Police Department, the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers were involved in the cleanup, which was completed in September 2016.
The settlement is subject to a 30-day comment period. Any discharge of oil into waterways or nearby environments is a violation of the Clean Water Act.