Greka Oil & Gas Inc. – South Cat Canyon Facility

For Air Toxics Intro | Air Toxics and Health | Air Toxics for Business | Air Toxics Regulations

Historical Significant Risk Facility

Location: Cat Canyon Oil Field
Santa Maria
Contact Person: Susan Whalen
(805) 347-8700 ext. 205
Facility Description: The facility is located in the Cat Canyon Oil Field south and east of Santa Maria, CA. Active wells at the facility produce oil, gas, and waste water. These products are gathered via pipeline, separated, stored, and metered. The oil and gas are transported out of the facility via pipelines. The waste water is disposed by underground injection on-site.


Click on the thumbnails below to see full size photos of the facility.

greka1.jpg (82379 bytes) greka2.jpg (88762 bytes) greka3.jpg (118037 bytes)
Greka Cat Canyon facility Heating/separating unit Pumping unit

Toxic Emissions

The Greka South Cat Canyon facility produces, treats, stores, and ships oil and gas.  These processes involve equipment (tanks, internal combustion engines, boilers, dehydrators) that emits toxic air contaminants.  Additionally, fugitive hydrocarbons, which contain certain toxic air contaminants, are emitted from the piping, connections, and other plumbing on the site.

Most recent  inventory of toxic air contaminants:     2003

Health Risk Assessment Results

These are the results of the health risk assessments (HRAs) performed on toxic emission inventories from 1991, 1994 and 1998 and 2003.

The health risk assessment report for 2003 is available here: 2003 HRA.

The health risk assessment files are available from the District by submitting a Public Records Act Request (please specify inventory year).

Increased cancer risk is expressed as the number of individuals affected in a hypothetical population of one million.  A significant risk is defined as 10 in one million or greater.

Non-cancer acute (short-term) and chronic (long-term) related illnesses are conveyed in terms of the Hazard Index (HI).  The HI is a ratio of the predicted concentration of the facility’s reported emissions to a concentration considered acceptable to public health professionals.  A significant risk is defined as an HI of 1 or greater.

The risk footprints are maps of the area affected.  The facility is required to notify the people living within the footprints.  Footprints are only prepared for significant risks.  The footprints will change as the facility reduces its emissions and may not reflect the current risk footprint.

1991 1994 1998 2003 Current*
Cancer risk: 63 in a million
13 in a million
12 in a million
8.33 in  million
not significant
8.33 in million
not significant
Acute non-cancer risk: HI = 0.3
not significant
HI = 1.8
HI = 22.93
HI = 3.44
HI = 0.72
not significant
Chronic non-cancer risk: HI = 0.8
not significant
HI = 1.2
HI = 0.27
not significant
HI = 0.03
not significant
HI = 0.03
not significant


* Current risk results are based the 2003 Inventory Year after risk reduction measures were applied.  See Risk Reduction section below for more information on the risk reduction measures implemented.


Risk “Driver” Pollutants

Acrolein and formaldehyde are the risk driver pollutants for the acute non-cancer risk. The primary risk driving devices are field gas-fired internal combustion engines.

Acute non-cancer risk:

acrolein (endpoint = eyes)


For more information on specific toxic pollutants, see USEPA Unified Air Toxics Web Site Health Effects Notebook for Hazardous Air Pollutants.

Other Toxic Pollutants Emitted by this Facility

The following pollutants are emitted during oil processing, storage, and transfer, but are not the primary contributors to the facility’s significant risk status.

acetaldehyde ethylene dichloride 
aluminum hexavalent chromium
arsenic hexane
ammonia hydrogen sulfide
antimony manganese
barium mercury
benzene methanol
beryllium methylene chloride
1,3-butadiene naphthalene
cadmium nickel
carbon tetrachloride polycyclic aromatic hyrocarbon (PAH)
chlorobenzene propylene
chloroform selenium
cobalt styrene
copper toluene
p-dichlorobenzene 1,1,2,2-tetrachloroethane
1,1-dichloroethane 1,1,2-trichloroethane
1,2-dichloropropane vanadium
1,3-dichloropropene vinyl chloride
ethylbenzene xylene
ethylene dibromide zinc


Public Notification

The primary goal of notification under the Air Toxics “Hot Spots” Program is to inform potentially exposed individuals of significant health risks associated with toxic air emissions routinely released from facilities in Santa Barbara County.  The first public notification letter for this facility was sent to the affected public on April 26, 1999.  Public notification was not required for the 2003 inventory year as the only significant risk was on a public roadway. No residents or businesses are within the significant risk isopleth.

Risk Reduction

Because this facility’s health risk assessment indicated a significant risk, the facility operator was required to conduct an airborne toxic risk reduction audit and develop a plan to implement airborne toxic risk reduction measures.

The Greka South Cat Canyon facility submitted a Risk Reduction Audit and Plan on March 12, 2014.  This plan was conditionally approved by the District on March 28, 2014. The conditional approval required that Greka submit a permit application for the permanent removal of five internal combustion engines. The permit application was submitted on July 7, 2014. T he District issued the final permit (ATC/PTO 14440) on October 24, 2014.  Through the issuance of ATC/PTO 14440, the RRAP was fully implemented and Greka South Cat Canyon facility’s risk was reduced below the District’s significance thresholds.

air pollution control district logo

New Phone Numbers
The District has new direct lines for all staff, as well as for all of our phone lines, including our main phone number and Complaints line. You can find our new phone numbers on this webpage.

Nuevos números de teléfono
El Distrito tiene nuevos números de teléfono para comunicarse con el personal directamente, así como también para todas nuestras líneas telefónicas, incluyendo nuestro número principal y el de las Quejas. Puede encontrar nuestros nuevos números de teléfono en esta página web.