Say No to Plains Pipeline Valve Project on Tues, Aug 22, 2023

SBCAN is represented by the Environmental Defense Center on the pipeline issues. Here is the action alert EDC prepared. Please urge the County Board of Supervisors to deny the proposal to add valves to the pipeline that caused the 2015 oil spill.



On Tuesday, August 22, the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing regarding the corroded Plains All American Pipeline that ruptured in 2015 causing the devastating Refugio Oil Spill. EDC has been working on behalf of Get Oil Out!, Santa Barbara County Action Network, and our own members to ensure ExxonMobil cannot restart production from three offshore platforms and these damaged pipelines.


Now, a subsidiary of ExxonMobil, the Pacific Pipeline Company (PPC), wants to install 16 new valves on the corroded pipelines 901 and 903. Installing these valves could facilitate Exxon’s restart of the damaged pipeline, which would be very risky. The Planning Commission already denied this project earlier this year, but PPC appealed the denial to the Board of Supervisors. Please speak up and urge the Santa Barbara Board of Supervisors to uphold the Planning Commission’s denial of the project.

These pipelines have been shut down since the May 19, 2015, oil spill on the Gaviota Coast. The spill was caused by extensive corrosion in the lines. Oil from this spill spread over 150 miles of coastline causing the closure of fisheries, state parks, beaches, and campgrounds, and killed more than 300 marine mammals and seabirds.  To date, Plains has taken no action to fix the damaged pipelines, and PPC has expressed an interest in restarting the pipelines.

Please consider the following talking points in your comments to the Supervisors:

  • The Board should uphold the Planning Commission’s denial of the proposed valve project.
  • Use of the existing compromised pipeline would pose a very real risk of future spills and damage to sensitive coastal resources, due to the massive corrosion and weakening of the pipeline walls. Installing valves will not prevent additional spills (valves do not remedy external corrosion or prevent additional ruptures from occurring).
  • The valves are not required by state law at this time. State law (AB 864) requires that coastal pipeline operators install safety features to reduce the volume of a potential spill to protect sensitive coastal resources. Because the pipeline is nonoperational, there is no risk of a spill.

Tuesday, August 22, 9:00AM
(View Agenda)

Joseph Centeno Betteravia Government Administration Building
Board Hearing Room
511 East Lakeside Parkway, Santa Maria

Please email comments to [email protected] by Monday, August 21, at 5:00 pm. You can also participate in the public hearing in person or by Zoom Webinar (register here). More information about the project and the agenda available online.

Thank you for speaking up on this important issue and protecting our coast from the threats of more oil spills.

Linda Krop

Chief Counsel
[email protected]
906 Garden Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101