On Tuesday morning, May 19, 2015, something happened to an onshore pipeline belonging to Plains All American Pipeline Company, LP., near Santa Barbara, CA. Approximately 2,500 barrels of crude oil was released from what has been reported to be a break in that pipeline. The oil flowed into a nearby storm drain culvert that went under California Highway 101 and made its way to Refugio Beach, contaminating both the beach and the Pacific Ocean.
However, a review of several media reports, statements from the pipeline owner, government officials, other oil company representatives, and others has revealed some interesting responses and tidbits of information that all will be factored into explaining the event, minimizing the chances of it happening again, and determining the ultimate responsibility, fines, and resultant costs. It may also help to influence the future of energy development and usage in Santa Barbara County and elsewhere.
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