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Oxnard cuts off Santa Clara Waste Water

Ventura County Star - Local News - November 26, 2014 - 8:47pm

Santa Clara Waste Water Co., the firm whose operations were the site of an explosion outside Santa Paula last week, has been locked out of Oxnard’s sewer system for the time being.

Oxnard officials sent a letter Wednesday saying the firm could not discharge materials into the city’s wastewater collection system.

Santa Clara Waste Water, which deals with oil field waste, sends its fluid through a pipeline to Oxnard. It is treated multiple times before being discharged into the ocean, a company official has said.

That could change, according to the letter from Oxnard.

“Given the recent explosion and uncontrolled release of unknown hazardous materials ... and the recurring permit violations,” reads the letter from City Manager Greg Nyhoff, “the city must take this action ... to protect the integrity” of the system and the community’s welfare.

About 50 people were treated at local hospitals after a vacuum truck exploded about 3:45 a.m. Nov. 18 at Santa Clara Waste Water Co., leaking chemicals and starting fires at 815 Mission Rock Road west of Santa Paula.

Daniel Rydberg, Oxnard’s interim utilities director, said Wednesday evening that new results from tests taken before the explosion showed levels for radioactive material had been exceeded on several occasions.

Previously, tests showed so-called “gross beta particles” were above allowable limits, Rydberg said. The city wrote a letter to Santa Clara Waste Water, which responded and said the issue had been taken care of, he said.

Letter to Santa Clara Waste Water

Subsequent tests were done in October and November. But turnaround time for results is not fast, Rydberg said, so the city learned Tuesday that limits had been exceeded on three more occasions.

Rydberg said it’s possible the radioactive material comes from oil field brine.

“It’s something we’re looking into,” he said.

The city has suspended the company’s permit and locked shut the valve on its discharge line. There have been no discharges into Oxnard’s system since the unrelated explosion. Nyhoff’s letter said a new disposal agreement and permit might need to be drawn up and that the city might even revoke the permit depending on results of the inquiry into the explosion.

City Council Carmen Ramirez, who along with other council members was informed of the permit suspension Wednesday evening, said she was pleased the city had taken action to address possible threats to city infrastructure.

Representatives from Santa Clara Waste Water could not immediately be reached Wednesday evening.

Oxnard cuts off Santa Clara Waste Water

Ventura County Star Top Stories - November 26, 2014 - 8:47pm

Santa Clara Waste Water Co., the firm whose operations were the site of an explosion outside Santa Paula last week, has been locked out of Oxnard’s sewer system for the time being.

Oxnard officials sent a letter Wednesday saying the firm could not discharge materials into the city’s wastewater collection system.

Santa Clara Waste Water, which deals with oil field waste, sends its fluid through a pipeline to Oxnard. It is treated multiple times before being discharged into the ocean, a company official has said.

That could change, according to the letter from Oxnard.

“Given the recent explosion and uncontrolled release of unknown hazardous materials ... and the recurring permit violations,” reads the letter from City Manager Greg Nyhoff, “the city must take this action ... to protect the integrity” of the system and the community’s welfare.

About 50 people were treated at local hospitals after a vacuum truck exploded about 3:45 a.m. Nov. 18 at Santa Clara Waste Water Co., leaking chemicals and starting fires at 815 Mission Rock Road west of Santa Paula.

Daniel Rydberg, Oxnard’s interim utilities director, said Wednesday evening that new results from tests taken before the explosion showed levels for radioactive material had been exceeded on several occasions.

Previously, tests showed so-called “gross beta particles” were above allowable limits, Rydberg said. The city wrote a letter to Santa Clara Waste Water, which responded and said the issue had been taken care of, he said.

Letter to Santa Clara Waste Water

Subsequent tests were done in October and November. But turnaround time for results is not fast, Rydberg said, so the city learned Tuesday that limits had been exceeded on three more occasions.

Rydberg said it’s possible the radioactive material comes from oil field brine.

“It’s something we’re looking into,” he said.

The city has suspended the company’s permit and locked shut the valve on its discharge line. There have been no discharges into Oxnard’s system since the unrelated explosion. Nyhoff’s letter said a new disposal agreement and permit might need to be drawn up and that the city might even revoke the permit depending on results of the inquiry into the explosion.

City Council Carmen Ramirez, who along with other council members was informed of the permit suspension Wednesday evening, said she was pleased the city had taken action to address possible threats to city infrastructure.

Representatives from Santa Clara Waste Water could not immediately be reached Wednesday evening.

Oxnard police release sketch of intruder

Ventura County Star - Local News - November 26, 2014 - 8:33pm

Oxnard police are asking for the public’s help identifying a burglar they say was inside a home while it was occupied.

Police said they received a report at 12:45 p.m. Wednesday of a burglary in progress in a home in the 300 block of Infinidad Street that had two girls, ages 14 and 16, inside it. When officers arrived, the prowler had fled, police said.

Police said a burglary that occurs when a victim is inside a home is inherently dangerous.

Police released a sketch of the prowler based on descriptions from witnesses.

Police asked that anyone who can offer clues or who may know of unreported cases to call 385-3921. Those who wish to remain anonymous can call the Violent Crimes Hotline at 982-7070 or Ventura County Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

Police also offered some advice on how to avoid becoming a crime victim:

Lock all windows and doors at night when you leave your residence or vehicle unattended.

Close all of your windows, as thieves can open vehicles and access homes through the smallest of openings.

Don’t forget to set your residential alarm if you have one.

To avoid obstruction, keep your landscaping trimmed.

Report all suspicious activity to police at 385-7740.

Oxnard police release sketch of intruder

Ventura County Star Top Stories - November 26, 2014 - 8:33pm

Oxnard police are asking for the public’s help identifying a burglar they say was inside a home while it was occupied.

Police said they received a report at 12:45 p.m. Wednesday of a burglary in progress in a home in the 300 block of Infinidad Street that had two girls, ages 14 and 16, inside it. When officers arrived, the prowler had fled, police said.

Police said a burglary that occurs when a victim is inside a home is inherently dangerous.

Police released a sketch of the prowler based on descriptions from witnesses.

Police asked that anyone who can offer clues or who may know of unreported cases to call 385-3921. Those who wish to remain anonymous can call the Violent Crimes Hotline at 982-7070 or Ventura County Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

Police also offered some advice on how to avoid becoming a crime victim:

Lock all windows and doors at night when you leave your residence or vehicle unattended.

Close all of your windows, as thieves can open vehicles and access homes through the smallest of openings.

Don’t forget to set your residential alarm if you have one.

To avoid obstruction, keep your landscaping trimmed.

Report all suspicious activity to police at 385-7740.

What we're thankful for in Ventura County

Ventura County Star Top Stories - November 26, 2014 - 8:00pm

Click or tap any of the images below to view the gallery

 

Tensions Simmer After Ferguson Shooting Decision

Wall Street Journal U.S. News - November 26, 2014 - 7:38pm
A cold rain fell amid relative calm in Ferguson, Mo., on Wednesday evening, following a day of clean-up after riots in the wake of a grand jury’s decision not to indict a white police officer in the killing of a black teenager.

Allan Kornblum, Independent Publisher, Dies at 65

NY Times Books - November 26, 2014 - 6:44pm
Mr. Kornblum started Coffee House Press, an independent publisher known for finding and nurturing new authors.






Accident snarling traffic outside Moorpark

Ventura County Star - Local News - November 26, 2014 - 6:11pm

An accident on Los Angeles Avenue near Grimes Canyon Road, west of Moorpark, snarled traffic Wednesday evening.

The incident, reported at 5:30 p.m., involved as many as four vehicles. No injuries were reported. No other information was immediately available.

Accident snarling traffic outside Moorpark

Ventura County Star Top Stories - November 26, 2014 - 6:11pm

An accident on Los Angeles Avenue near Grimes Canyon Road, west of Moorpark, snarled traffic Wednesday evening.

The incident, reported at 5:30 p.m., involved as many as four vehicles. No injuries were reported. No other information was immediately available.

Moorpark office participates in toy drive

Ventura County Star - Local News - November 26, 2014 - 6:11pm

The Moorpark office of the California Highway Patrol is participating in a holiday drive, inviting members of the public to donate new, unwrapped toys to be distributed to children in need.

The CHiPs for Kids toy drive will be launched Dec. 4, with Walgreens locations and offices of the patrol serving as donation drop-off locations.

From 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 4, live video feeds from the Walgreens store at 550 N. Ventu Park Road in Newbury Park will capture launch day in an effort to inspire donations, with patrol officers there to participate.

Those who are unable to stop by on Dec. 4 are invited to bring any new, unwrapped toy to the patrol's office at 610 Spring Road in Moorpark between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Tuesday through Dec. 19. Toys also may be dropped off at any of the 300 Walgreens stores in Southern California, the patrol said.

Moorpark office participates in toy drive

Ventura County Star Top Stories - November 26, 2014 - 6:11pm

The Moorpark office of the California Highway Patrol is participating in a holiday drive, inviting members of the public to donate new, unwrapped toys to be distributed to children in need.

The CHiPs for Kids toy drive will be launched Dec. 4, with Walgreens locations and offices of the patrol serving as donation drop-off locations.

From 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 4, live video feeds from the Walgreens store at 550 N. Ventu Park Road in Newbury Park will capture launch day in an effort to inspire donations, with patrol officers there to participate.

Those who are unable to stop by on Dec. 4 are invited to bring any new, unwrapped toy to the patrol's office at 610 Spring Road in Moorpark between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Tuesday through Dec. 19. Toys also may be dropped off at any of the 300 Walgreens stores in Southern California, the patrol said.

Grateful for sunshine

Ventura County Star - Local News - November 26, 2014 - 6:08pm

Balmy weather this Thanksgiving week sent many people outdoors to enjoy games of basketball at the park, the hills for cycling and the beaches for scenic views and cool breezes.

Grateful for sunshine

Ventura County Star Top Stories - November 26, 2014 - 6:08pm

Balmy weather this Thanksgiving week sent many people outdoors to enjoy games of basketball at the park, the hills for cycling and the beaches for scenic views and cool breezes.

Live Traffic Map

Ventura County Star Top Stories - November 26, 2014 - 5:34pm

Click the logo below to launch the traffic map

Six injured in traffic collision near Camarillo

Ventura County Star - Local News - November 26, 2014 - 5:23pm

As many as six people were reported injured in a collision involving at least three vehicles Wednesday afternoon near Pleasant Valley and Wood roads south of the Camarillo Airport.

The accident was reported at 3:20 p.m. Authorities closed the intersection while emergency personnel removed two people trapped in vehicles. The incident was described as a hit-and-run by the California Highway Patrol.

All lanes were reopened shortly after 4:15 p.m.

The cause of the accident remained under investigation. Further details, including the extent of injuries, were not available.

Six injured in traffic collision near Camarillo

Ventura County Star Top Stories - November 26, 2014 - 5:23pm

As many as six people were reported injured in a collision involving at least three vehicles Wednesday afternoon near Pleasant Valley and Wood roads south of the Camarillo Airport.

The accident was reported at 3:20 p.m. Authorities closed the intersection while emergency personnel removed two people trapped in vehicles. The incident was described as a hit-and-run by the California Highway Patrol.

All lanes were reopened shortly after 4:15 p.m.

The cause of the accident remained under investigation. Further details, including the extent of injuries, were not available.

Small grass fire reported in Simi Valley

Ventura County Star - Local News - November 26, 2014 - 5:23pm

Crews battled a small grass fire Wednesday afternoon near the 100 block of East Easy Street in Simi Valley, according to the Ventura County Fire Department.

The fire was east of Madera Road and south of Highway 118, reportedly near railroad tracks. It was reported as a 50-foot by 50-foot spot fire in a field, according to reports.

Eight firefighter units were on the scene for the incident, reported shortly before 4:30 p.m.

Small grass fire reported in Simi Valley

Ventura County Star Top Stories - November 26, 2014 - 5:23pm

Crews battled a small grass fire Wednesday afternoon near the 100 block of East Easy Street in Simi Valley, according to the Ventura County Fire Department.

The fire was east of Madera Road and south of Highway 118, reportedly near railroad tracks. It was reported as a 50-foot by 50-foot spot fire in a field, according to reports.

Eight firefighter units were on the scene for the incident, reported shortly before 4:30 p.m.

Soil samples taken near explosion are negative

Ventura County Star - Local News - November 26, 2014 - 5:09pm

Soil samples taken at farms near the site of a Santa Paula chemical explosion last week show no contamination, but results of tests on actual crops are still pending, environmental officials said Wednesday.

Testing of soil downwind from the Mission Rock Road explosion site showed no concernable levels of contamination, officials said. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and California Department of Public Health, however, are continuing to evaluate potential contamination of crops, said Nahal Mogharabi, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Korinne Bell, deputy Ventura County agricultural commissioner, said crop samples were shipped to two different labs in California to test for metals and toxicology. She said agencies and businesses affected by the Nov. 18 explosion are waiting for more information.

She said local growers were advised to conduct minimal activity and refrain from harvesting until more is known.

“We’ve received great cooperation from growers. No one wants a food safety emergency on their hands,” Bell said.

“Our concern is the safety of the agricultural community, the public and the food supply chain.”

About 50 people were treated at local hospitals after a vacuum truck exploded about 3:45 a.m. Nov. 18 at Santa Clara Waste Water Co., leaking chemicals and starting fires at 815 Mission Rock Road.

About 1,000 gallons of a chemical mixture that contained sulfuric acid and an organic peroxide spilled and burned after the rear of the truck exploded. When it dried, the substance spontaneously ignited, sparking small fires. Chemical smoke drifted over the area.

County officials said the incident has transitioned to the cleanup phase. The owner of Santa Clara Waste has contracted with Patriot Environmental Services to conduct the cleanup, which is being overseen by Ventura County Environmental Health and the EPA, fire officials said.

In the days after the explosion, an area within a half-mile of the site was evacuated. The evacuation was lifted Sunday.

Soil samples taken near explosion are negative

Ventura County Star Top Stories - November 26, 2014 - 5:09pm

Soil samples taken at farms near the site of a Santa Paula chemical explosion last week show no contamination, but results of tests on actual crops are still pending, environmental officials said Wednesday.

Testing of soil downwind from the Mission Rock Road explosion site showed no concernable levels of contamination, officials said. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and California Department of Public Health, however, are continuing to evaluate potential contamination of crops, said Nahal Mogharabi, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Korinne Bell, deputy Ventura County agricultural commissioner, said crop samples were shipped to two different labs in California to test for metals and toxicology. She said agencies and businesses affected by the Nov. 18 explosion are waiting for more information.

She said local growers were advised to conduct minimal activity and refrain from harvesting until more is known.

“We’ve received great cooperation from growers. No one wants a food safety emergency on their hands,” Bell said.

“Our concern is the safety of the agricultural community, the public and the food supply chain.”

About 50 people were treated at local hospitals after a vacuum truck exploded about 3:45 a.m. Nov. 18 at Santa Clara Waste Water Co., leaking chemicals and starting fires at 815 Mission Rock Road.

About 1,000 gallons of a chemical mixture that contained sulfuric acid and an organic peroxide spilled and burned after the rear of the truck exploded. When it dried, the substance spontaneously ignited, sparking small fires. Chemical smoke drifted over the area.

County officials said the incident has transitioned to the cleanup phase. The owner of Santa Clara Waste has contracted with Patriot Environmental Services to conduct the cleanup, which is being overseen by Ventura County Environmental Health and the EPA, fire officials said.

In the days after the explosion, an area within a half-mile of the site was evacuated. The evacuation was lifted Sunday.

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