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Ventura, California, Oil Spill Cleanup Could Continue For Weeks

The cleanup of an oil spill that released about 45,000 gallons of crude June 23 near a Ventura, Calif., neighborhood could continue for several more weeks, local news sources reported. According to KCOY Channel 12 Santa Barbara, more than 150 workers continue to clean up the spill, which erupted from an underground pipeline owned by Crimson Pipeline of Denver, Colo. The oil formed a small lake near a Hall Canyon Road neighborhood and traveled several hundred yards down a dry barranca. Unlike last year’s Plains All American Pipeline spill in Santa Barbara, the Crimson Pipeline spill in Ventura did not ... Read More

Cleanup Efforts Underway In Ventura County Oil Spill

Hazmat teams are at the site of another coastal California oil spill, this time in Ventura County where an underground pipeline owned by Crimson Pipeline is said to have released about 30,000 gallons of crude oil into a gorge. The good news is that initial reports estimated that 5,000 barrels (210,000 gallons) of oil had been released, but that number was later reduced to 700 barrels (29,400 gallons). Ventura County officials also said that while the oil formed a small lake across the street from a Hall Canyon Road neighborhood, it failed to enter storm drains or barrancas that empty ... Read More

Crews Rush To Clean Ventura County Oil Spill Before Rain

Cleanup crews are working to remove about 8,000 gallons of oil that burst from an underground pipeline in Ventura County, Calif., when electrical workers accidentally drilled into it just after midnight on Tuesday. According to the Ventura County Star, a crew contracted by Southern California Edison to replace a power line drilled into the 10-inch pipe around 12:30 a.m. The ruptured pipeline released 190 barrels, or 7,980 gallons, of crude oil headed from a holding station in Ventura to a refinery near Long Beach. It was not immediately clear where all the oil went, but a California Department of Fish ... Read More

Increasing Number Of U.S. Oil Spills Prompt Tougher Pipeline Rules

A surge of oil spills connected to pipeline disasters in the United States in recent years has sparked new life into a long-delayed federal safety rule. The Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has not disclosed the details of the rule, but it is expected to be released publicly within the next seven to 10 days. The White House cleared the rule last week, five years after regulators and legislators first began work on it. “The proposed regulations will result in critical safety improvements, and we hope they will spark a robust dialogue moving forward about ... Read More

Inspections Point to Poor Safety Culture In Company Behind Santa Barbara Oil Spill

It happens just about every time there is a major oil spill: Federal regulators investigate the disaster, determine the cause, and then find the responsible party has a history of violations that indicate safety and environmental stewardship aren’t among its top priorities. And so it goes with Plains All American Pipeline, the Texas company responsible for a pipeline breach that released between 105,000-143,000 gallons of oil near Santa Barbara, Calif., May 19, polluting miles of ecologically sensitive beaches and coastal habitats. Several months before the breach, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) regulators inspected Plains All American lines 901 ... Read More

Regulators Urge California To Fine Pipeline Company Over Santa Barbara Oil Spill

California water authorities passed a motion last week asking the State of California to seek civil liabilities against Plains All American Pipeline for violating the state water code with an oil spill that polluted miles of coastal Santa Barbara County May 19. The oil spill originated from a ruptured underground pipeline used to move crude oil from storage tanks in Las Flores to a pumping station about 200 miles north in Gaviota. About 105,000 gallons of crude oil were released, much of which entered the Pacific Ocean. The spill forced the closure of two state beaches, Refugio and El Capitan, ... Read More

Pipeline breach spills 100 barrels of crude into Illinois waterways

A pipeline breach in a pipeline owned and operated by Plains All American Pipeline of Houston, Texas, released 4,200 gallons of crude oil in southwestern Illinois, about 40 miles northwest of St. Louis, Mo. The July 10 spill occurred less than two months after the same company spilled more than 100,000 gallons of oil from a pipeline in Southern California, some of which flowed into the Pacific Ocean near Santa Barbara. Plains All American Pipeline said the spill occurred at its Pocahontas Pump Station near the border of Bond and Madison Counties in Illinois. Workers were able to stop the ... Read More

Santa Barbara retailer alleges oil spill caused economic losses

The owner of a Colorado-based retailer with a store in Santa Barbara, Calif,, has filed a lawsuit against Plains All American Pipeline LP seeking economic damages she alleges resulted from an oil spill that polluted miles of coastline around Santa Barbara in May. Erica Dahl, owner of Savvy of Boulder LLC, which operates two retail locations including one in Santa Barbara called Savvy on Pearl, filed the complaint June 11 in a California federal court. Ms. Dahl alleges that the oil spill caused store sales to plummet as much as 25 percent in May compared with sales figures from the ... Read More

California pipeline was tested 2 weeks before Santa Barbara oil spill

A test of the California pipeline that ruptured May 19, spilling more than 100,000 gallons of crude oil on miles of Santa Barbara coast, showed serious corrosion in the section of pipeline where the break occurred. According to the Associated Press, a high-tech instrument called a “smart pig” was sent into the underground pipeline two weeks before the spill occurred to measure the internal and external corrosion, test the thickness of its walls, and detect cracks. The Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration said the May 5 test revealed the pipeline, owned by Plains All American Pipeline of Texas, had lost 45 ... Read More

Giant oil spill encroaches on more California beaches

Strong westerly winds threaten to push the giant Plains All American oil spill near Santa Barbara, Calif., onto more of the state’s most naturally preserved beaches, the National Weather Service warned, as hundreds of emergency cleanup workers are being mobilized and trained to clean shores already awash in thick black sludge. Most of the people directly affected by the May 19 spill, the worst oil spill to hit Southern California in decades, have been beach goers and campers who have been forced to leave El Refugio and El Capitan beaches and coastal parks. But on Tuesday, new reports said the ... Read More