Carlsbad company to pay $59K settlement after 2016 oil spill

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SAN DIEGO — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Wednesday announced a $59,400 settlement with the Carlsbad-based SoCo Group to resolve federal claims stemming from an oil spill last spring in San Diego.

On May 13, 2016, a SoCo tanker was allegedly traveling at an unsafe speed and overturned while transitioning from Interstate 8 to Morena Boulevard.

The truck discharged about 3,715 gallons 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 clean-up and prevent further spread of the fuel, according to the EPA. Within 72 hours, an estimated 3,000 gallons were recovered.

About 60 cubic yards of contaminated vegetation and 900 yards of contaminated soil were removed and disposed of at a permitted facility, according to the EPA.

The EPA was one of several agencies, including the San Diego County Environmental Health’s Hazardous Materials Division, California Highway Patrol, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, San Diego Public Works, San Diego Police Department and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, that were involved in the clean-up, which was completed last September.