Aerial View of Unocal's Battles Gas Plant when it was Operational
Battles Gas Processing Plant Site Decommissioning
Pipeline abandonment and gas plant remediation
activities have received
all permits. Pipeline abandonment and
removal activities are underway.
An onshore site housing the Santa Maria Pump Station (an active
use), Greka's oil and gas processing facility (an active use), and
the remnants of Unocal's Battles Gas Plant. The gas plant has been
demolished since 1995. Site cleanup and restoration activities are
The former Battles Gas Plant
site is located approximately one mile southeast of the Santa
Maria City limits. The surrounding area is predominately rural,
being segregated from the city by the U.S. 101 freeway.
Overhead View of Unocal's Battles Gas Plant Site
- On October 9, 2002, the Planning Commission approved the plan
to remove all near-surface foundations and pipelines and to excavate
and remediate hydrocarbon contaminated soils and subsurface plumes
under the Phase II Abandonment Plan. The plan includes the installation
and long-term operation of a bioventing system to speed up the
natural microbial bio-remediation process under which hydrocarbon
compounds are consumed by bacteria in an aerobic environment.
- Unocal's former Battles Gas Processing Plant has been dismantled
and site abandonment and remediation activities have been approved
by the Planning Commission. All of the above-ground structures
have been removed. Removal of underground equipment and soil remediation
work is anticipated to begin by November/December 2003.
Battles Gas Processing Site
- The Battles site has been dedicated to uses supporting oil
and gas development since 1935. Union Oil (later renamed Unocal)
constructed the gas plant in 1937 and operated it for nearly 60
years, processing natural gas produced from nearby oil fields.
- Siting economic reasons, Unocal closed the Battles plant in
1995 and constructed a smaller, more efficient facility near Lompoc.
- The removal of all the above-ground structures was completed
in 1995 under the Phase I Abandonment Plan.
- In 2004, the Board of Supervisors
acted unanimously to rezone the Battles
site from General Industry to Agriculture,
thereby ensuring the compatibility
of future uses with the surrounding
rural area. The Board also approved
an option to develop agricultural industry
onsite, such as a vegetable-packing
plant, given the particular attributes
of this site. Adjustments to the boundaries
of the site's three parcels so they
fit the extent of onsite uses were
also approved as part of the project.
Prior to any future development on
the portion of the site where the Battles
Gas Plant was located, proper cleanup
of the site must be completed.