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Plains All American Pipeline to Face Criminal Charges for Massive 2015 Oil Spill on California Coast

Plains All American Pipeline to Face Criminal Charges for Massive 2015 Oil Spill on California Coast (jukurae / Shutterstock)

Nearly three years have passed since Plains All American Pipeline 901, a 24-inch subterranean oil pipeline, burst near Refugio State Beach, sending an estimated 140,000 gallons of sticky crude oil down under the U.S. Hwy 101 and into the Pacific Ocean near Santa Barbara. It was only some 18 hours later that clean - up crews responded -- an interminably long period of time carrying grave consequences for the environment and marine life.

The spill was blamed for the deaths of more than 100 marine mammals and nearly 200 birds. Federal regulators have said corrosion on the outside of Plains Line 901 caused it to break.

District Attorney Joyce E. Dudley announced that the Jury Trial of People v. Plains All American Pipeline, L.P. will begin on February 5, 2018, in Department 1 of the Santa Barbara Superior Court. The People today dismissed the charge against Plains’ employee, James Colby Buchanan, for failing to follow a material provision of Plains’ Spill Response Plan (which contributed to making the spill much worse than it should have been). That charge remains one of the crimes alleged against Plains.


Sadly, this is the result of a bad blend between the lack of good pipeline integrity program and lack of good leadership!

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