Thursday, May 5, 2011

PXP in the DOGGR House

Howdy friends and neighbors of the hills!

Close but still no cigar!
Photos taken Saturday, April 30, 2011 by a member of the Save the Montebello Hills Task Force, Sierra Club/Angeles Chapter, all photos used by permission.

Things are starting to look mighty dire for PXP.

Last Saturday, members of the Sierra Club's Save the Montebello Hills Task Force visited the site of the PXP oil spill near the Rio Hondo River to check on the results of a second "clean up" effort that took place after the original clean up was signed off on by authorities.  As you can see by the photo above, there are still a few pockets of oily residue left behind. 

Members of the expedition look out towards the Rio Hondo River.
Where the pond joins the Rio Hondo River.

The posse of environmentalists were joined by at least one reporter, a few members of the community and two Montebello city officials.  All five Montebello City Council members were invited to join the group but only council members Alberto Perez and Bill Molinari were able to attend this impromptu expedition.

Montebello city council member Alberto Perez.

Montebello city council member Bill Molinari.

The now infamous storm drain and pond.

This Wednesday, Reporter Elizabeth Chou of EGP published a follow up story about the on-going investigations of PXP/Montebello oil field spill incidents in this vicinity.  Yup, you read that right, it appears the rumor was correct and there has been more than one such "incident" since PXP bought the Montebello hills oil field from Chevron back in 1997.

Past PXP Spill Went Unreported For Weeks, Being Investigated
By Elizabeth Chou
May 4, 2011

According to the news story:
Spills of crude oil and other byproducts affecting the environment have occurred on more than one occasion since Plains Exploration & Production Company, PXP, bought the Montebello Hills property from Chevron in 1997, according to documents obtained by EGP.

One of those spills almost flew under the radar. Two to three barrels of crude oil that spilled into the Rio Hondo river on Aug. 22 of last year went unreported for nearly three weeks, according to the documents.


The 2010 spill went "unreported for nearly three weeks!"

Folks, that is darn, right unacceptable from a company that wants us to "trust" it!  Yeah right, maybe this is their idea of "a high degree of environmental stewardship, operational expertise, and collaboration with regulatory agencies!"

If this were an old fashioned stage play, the audience would be directed to "hiss - boo" PXP's spokesperson Scott Winters for playing the role of the dastardly villain in this melodrama.:

In addressing a question about past spills, Winters said “PXP has ongoing maintenance, inspection and testing programs in the field. As any exception is identified, it is addressed through a process to continually improve environmental, health and safety performance results.”

A question from the peanut gallery,  "Mr. Winters, when does an "exception" cross the line into a regular occurrence?"  I almost feel sorry for Mr. Winters, almost!

Well, it's time for PXP to live up to it's own hype and start "collaborating" with regulatory agencies!

The Rio Hondo River

In the meantime, I would like to holler a thank you to the "man with no name" vector control officer who reported the spill back in 2010.  

Here's another holler of thanks to the Save the Montebello Hills Task Force of the Sierra Club/Angeles Chapter for their bull-dogged determination and eagle-eyed vigilance!  Keep up the good work folks!

Daisy Mae

1 comment:

  1. Waiting for Whittier's GodotMay 22, 2011 at 12:03 PM

    The Whittier Daily News/SGVT/etc apparently are taking the ostrich method of bad news reporting. They bury their head in the sand and the problem is no longer there.

    If they don't print anything about the oil spill, then it can't hurt Whittier's plans to drill in a nature conservancy area.

    While this little PXP/Montebello Hills Oil spill is spreading nationwide, even worldwide, but it has bypassed an adjacent city. It isn't often that the LA Times can be said to be covering local news better than the WDN/SGVT, but this is one of those times.