On June 14, the Santa Barbara County Planning Commission will consider whether to approve Plains All American Pipeline Company’s request to transfer ownership of Lines 901 and 903 to the Pacific Pipeline Company (“PPC”), an ExxonMobil subsidiary. Plains also seeks to change the operator of the pipelines to ExxonMobil Pipeline Company (“EMPCo”), another ExxonMobil subsidiary. Please join the Environmental Defense Center today to urge Santa Barbara County to deny this request and protect our environment and climate.
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
EDC, on behalf of Get Oil Out!, Santa Barbara County Action Network, and our own members, will ask the Commission to deny this request on the following grounds:
- The County Code allows transfers of pipeline ownership and operation so long as all permit conditions are met. In this case, the permit conditions for Lines 901 and 903 require a cathodic protection system to prevent corrosion and minimize the risk of oil spills. This system failed, causing corrosion throughout the pipeline system. Accordingly, the pipeline does not have protection against future oil spills.
- The 2015 pipeline spill was caused by Plains’ failure to adequately maintain, inspect, monitor, and operate Lines 901 and 903. The pipelines remain damaged. Plains should not be allowed to transfer the pipelines without retaining liability for future accidents, leaks, spills, and remediation obligations.
You can participate in the public hearing in person or by Zoom Webinar (register here). For more information about the project and how to participate in the hearing, please visit https://www.countyofsb.org/3773/901903-Pipeline-Permit-Transfer.
Thank you for speaking up on this important issue.