VENTURA, California – District Attorney Erik Nasarenko announced today that Sun Air Jets, LLC (Sun Air), located in Camarillo, has agreed to a $75,000 settlement including a final judgment and permanent Injunction following a jet fuel spill at the Camarillo Airport. Sun Air maintains a fleet of privately owned corporate jets for charter, performs aircraft maintenance, and also operates a 60,000 gallon jet fuel storage facility from the County Department of Airports in Camarillo. This settlement is the result of an investigation conducted by the District Attorney’s Office Consumer and Environmental Protection Unit and the Ventura County Environmental Health Division.
On February 19, 2019, a Sun Air employee was filling a 3,000 gallon mobile refueler truck containing jet A-1 fuel. A refueler overfill protection device malfunctioned, resulting in a significant amount of jet fuel being released into the environment.
Sun Air is subject to the regulatory requirements of the Aboveground Petroleum Storage Act (APSA) and is required to prepare a fuel Spill Prevention Plan (Plan). The investigation determined elements of the Plan were deficient, which was a significant contributing factor in the fuel spill. The fuel entered a local storm drain in violation of the APSA and Fish and Game Code section 5650. The investigation also revealed deficiencies in employee training, safety procedures and the mandatory reporting of a hazardous materials release.
The $75,000 settlement is comprised of $39,075 in investigative costs to the District Attorney’s Office, a civil penalty of $5,319, cost recovery of $3,470 to the Ventura County Environmental Health Division (VCEHD), and $2,134 in cost recovery to the Ventura County Fire District for their emergency response. The settlement also includes $25,000 in the form of a Supplemental Environmental Project to the Ventura County Department of Airports to provide maintenance and upgrades to their underground storage tanks leak detection system.
Injunctive terms require Sun Air to comply with all applicable laws related to the APSA, the Fish and Game Code, and to immediately report any hazardous materials spill. Sun Air will also be subject to regulatory inspections by the VCEHD.