On December 28, 2018, a final judgment against Anterra Corporation and two operating subsidiaries, Anterra Transportation, Inc. and Anterra Energy Services, Inc., was entered in the Superior Court of California, Ventura County. Charged with violations of California hazardous waste and unfair business act regulations, the defendants were ordered to pay $500,000 in civil penalties and investigative costs. They also were prohibited from engaging in any act or omission in violation of California’s Health and Safety Code; or accepting, storing, treating, or injecting any waste material at their facilities unless a chemical analysis confirming it is non-hazardous is conducted, and both State and county regulatory agencies receive a copy of the report. In addition, the defendants were ordered to obtain updated chemical analyses of the waste material—conducted by a California-certified environmental laboratory—every 24 months and include criteria to ensure the screening is effective. A civil complaint was filed on December 21, 2018.
Anterra is an oilfield waste-management facility that accepts produced water, tank bottoms, drilling fluids and cuttings, oily fluids, and contaminated soils. It used two nonproducing oil wells to commercially dispose of oilfield wastes received from other oil and gas production facilities. However, Anterra was not authorized to receive, handle, treat, or store hazardous waste.
The investigation uncovered numerous laboratory analytical sample reports Anterra filed with the State of California from 2011 to 2014. Based on the testing results detailed in the reports, the sampled waste accepted by Anterra for onsite processing and treatment exhibited characteristics California has deemed hazardous, including ignitability, toxicity, and corrosivity.
DOT-OIG conducted this investigation with the Ventura County District Attorney’s Major Fraud Unit.