Plains All American Proposes to Rebuild Pipeline that Spilled in 2015
Oil platforms off Santa Barbara coast (file photo)
By edhat staff
Plains All-American Pipeline is proposing a plan to rebuild the corroded pipeline that led to an oil spill on Refugio State Beach in 2015.
Santa Barbara County hosted a public scoping meeting on Wednesday while the second meeting is scheduled for Thursday in Arroyo Grande. The meetings are in preparation for an environmental impact report (EIR) required under the California Environmental Quality Act.
Plains Pipeline has proposed a 124-mile oil pipeline across the Central Coast. It would allow ExxonMobil to reopen platforms off the Santa Barbara coast and would cross several areas of endangered species habitat in the Carrizo Plains and Los Padres National Forest.
On Wednesday, Plains released a statement to the media stating the scoping hearings are an early step in a lengthy process to permit and construct the new Lines 901R and 903R pipelines.
“We have the option to restart the existing pipeline, but we believe the best option for the region and our company is to replace the line with a new line that will be designed and built with additional safety features to meet today’s more stringent regulatory requirements for newly constructed pipelines. We’re confident this robust permitting process will support our plans to restore the safe transportation of locally produced crude oil to refineries throughout California,” said Steve Greig, Director of Government Affairs for Plains.
Plains further asserts that restoring the pipeline service provides a reliable transportation option and reduces the state's reliance on crude oil produced outside California.
Protestors arrived at the Wednesday meeting and are expected for Thursday's meeting as well. The Center for Biological Diversity has been a vocal opponent of Plains and joined the protests. "Plains caused California’s worst coastal oil spill in 25 years — and now it thinks it deserves a chance to spill again," the Center's Facebook page stated.
Thursday's meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the South County Regional Center, 800 West Branch Street in Arroyo Grande.