Pipeline Company Indicted in 2015 California Spill
Plains All American Pipeline, L.P. reported the indictment included a total of 46 counts, 10 of which relate to the release of crude oil or reporting of the spill and 36 of which relate to wildlife that died because of it.
Plains All American Pipeline, L.P., a Houston-based, publicly traded master limited partnership that owns and operates midstream energy infrastructure, announced May 17 that a California grand jury has indicted the company and one of its employees, charging them with violating California law in connection with an oil spill on May 19, 2015, near Santa Barbara, Calif. More than 100,000 gallons of oil spilled because of the pipeline failure.
Plains reported the indictment included a total of 46 counts, 10 of which relate to the release of crude oil or reporting of the spill and 36 of which relate to wildlife that died because of it. "Plains is deeply disappointed by the decision of the California Attorney General and Santa Barbara District Attorney to pursue criminal charges against Plains and one of its employees in connection with the 2015 accident. Plains believes that neither the company nor any of its employees engaged in any criminal behavior at any time in connection with this accident, and that criminal charges are unwarranted. We will vigorously defend ourselves against these charges and are confident we will demonstrate that the charges have no merit and represent an inappropriate attempt to criminalize an unfortunate accident," the company's announcement said.
Plains also said it "sincerely regrets the accidental Line 901 release and the resulting impact on the community, the environment and wildlife. Since the release, we have worked tirelessly and relentlessly to do the right thing and do it as quickly and effectively as possible by cleaning up the beaches and other affected areas, compensating those who were impacted by the release and working with the various governmental and other organizations responding to the incident. Since the Line 901 release, Plains has worked cooperatively with the U.S. Coast Guard, California Department of Fish & Wildlife, other members of the Unified Command, first responders and numerous local, state and federal stakeholders to make good on our commitment to do the right thing."
The announcement said Plains has "worked cooperatively and effectively with the Unified Command and others to successfully remove and remediate released oil from the affected water, soil and shoreline, restoring the impacted beaches and achieving Unified Command sign-off regarding the completion of active clean-up efforts by August 31, 2015, 105 days following the accident, and satisfaction of all shoreline and beach clean-up goals by January 22, 2016," as well as working diligently to achieve the reopening of El Capitan State Beach on June 26, 2015, and Refugio State Beach on July 17, 2015.
In all, the company has directly or indirectly spent more than $150 million on the response effort, cleanup, and related matters, it reported.