Signal Hill oil company AllenCo Energy has reached an agreement with Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer to pay a $1.25 million fine to settle a lawsuit Feuer brought against the company, moving the company a step closer to reopening its oil field near USC, Feuer’s office announced Thursday.
AllenCo, which acquired the oil field in 2009, shut it down in 2013 after complaints from neighbors about noise and adverse health effects and a shutdown request from U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer. In 2014, Feuer filed suit demanding the oil field be shut down permanently.
The company has since paid pollution fines and settlements totaling nearly $950,000 to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the South Coast Air Quality Management District.
The court-approved settlement reached this week allows AllenCo to restart the oil field operation, but only after certifying compliance with all applicable federal, state and local health and safety regulations. The company must also install an extensive safety monitoring system and pay $1.25 million in civil penalties.
The court order also affirms a permanent injunction, allowing authorities to shut the oil field down again if it ever fails to meet all health and safety regulations.
“This judgment assures the community that AllenCo will never be allowed to re-open unless it complies with every single health and safety regulation and installs a state-of-the-art health and safety monitoring system, overseen by an independent environmental expert authorized to shut the facility down,” said Feuer. “These protections are unprecedented.”
A representative from AllenCo said the company had no comment on the settlement announcement.
See previous Los Angeles Business Journal coverage here.
Public policy and energy reporter Howard Fine can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @howardafine.