Crews Begin Clean-Up of 800,000 Gallons of Oil and Water Dumped in a California Canyon

california, chevron, oil spill
Oil flows at a Chevron oil field in Kern County, Calif. Nearly 800,000 gallons of oil and water has seeped from the ground since May. Credit: California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response via AP

Chevron crews have begun to clean up a massive and ongoing oil spill in California after nearly 800,000 gallons of oil and water were dumped into a canyon near Bakersfield in May, reports Fox News. It was recently revealed that 794,000 gallons of water and oil leaked out of the ground where Chevron uses steam injection to extract oil in the large Cymric Oil Field about 35 miles west of Bakersfield.

According to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Office of Spill Prevention, the cleanup and ultimate investigation into what caused the oil flow were somewhat delayed as officials had to ensure there were no dangerous fumes or sinkholes that could trap workers or heavy equipment.

It is not yet clear what caused the spill but officials say it is not near any waterway and has not significantly affected wildlife. Around 70 percent of the fluid is water, meaning that around 240,000 gallons of oil were spilling out.

The state has issued Chevron a notice of violation ordering it to stop steam injections around the spill. Chevron will pay for the cleanup while California state officials will oversee the process.