Group gets grant to study oil seep impact on Upper Ojai air quality

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Photo courtesy of Kimberly Rivers

Upper Ojai resident Trevor Quirk observed this smoldering oil seep in April, months after the Thomas Fire scorched the valley.

Andra Belknap, Ojai Valley News reporter
Kimberly Rivers, executive director of Citizens for Responsible Oil and Gas (CFROG), said she saw an oil seep near Thomas Aquinas College still smoldering last week, six months after the Thomas Fire.
“It's probably still smoldering today,” she said, noting the Ventura County Fire Department (VCFD) is aware of the issue.
For Rivers, the December Thomas Fire called attention to the lack of air quality monitoring data in Upper Ojai.
She said there are just five air quality monitors in the whole of  Ventura County. The Ojai monitor is in the lower valley, she said.
Rivers and her CFROG colleagues began looking at the Upper Ojai oil seeps long before the Thomas Fire and openly wondered how emissions from the seeps may impact residents' air quality.

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