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For Immediate Release

Rinehart Oil Settles Environmental Complaint Arising Out of Tanker Truck Spill

SANTA ROSA, CA | August 05, 2022

Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch announced today that her Environmental and Consumer Law Division (ECLD) has reached a settlement with Rinehart Oil, and driver Charles Pacheco, for environmental harm caused when one of the tankers overturned on Highway 121 in November of 2019 causing petroleum to spill into a nearby waterway.  Under the terms of the Stipulated Civil Judgment, signed by Judge Jennifer Dollard on August 4, 2022 in People v Charles Pacheco, et al. (Sonoma Superior Court Case no 268601), the defendant paid ninety-one thousand dollars ($91,000) in costs and civil penalties. The Judgment also includes injunctive terms prohibiting the improper disposal of hazardous waste or depositing of hazardous waste into any waterway.

District Attorney Ravitch stated, “My office is committed to protecting this county’s natural resources and holding businesses responsible for harming the environment.”

The California Department of Fish & Wildlife’s Office of Spill Prevention & Response (OSPR) investigated the matter. The company worked cooperatively with OSPR at the time of the accident to clean up the spill and remediate the damage that was caused.

The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Caroline Fowler. Citizens with information regarding environmental crimes are encouraged to contact their local police department, or the District Attorney’s Office at (707) 565-3161.

Contact Information: 
Carrie Trevena 
Media Coordinator
Office of the District Attorney
(707) 565-3098