Texas-based Plains All American Pipeline is adjusting its initial figure of $69 million for the Santa Barbara area oil spill, as costs of the ongoing cleanup are already $62 million as of early June 2015 and are averaging $3 million/day.
On May 19, 2015, an onshore pipeline ruptured and leaked as much as 101,000 gallons of crude oil, approximately 21,000 gallons of which flowed into a storm drain and ultimately into the Pacific Ocean off Santa Barbara County.
The oil spill’s timing severely affected Memorial Day Weekend business at some of Santa Barbara’s most popular beaches, including the Refugio Beach and El Capitan Beach and Campground. Both beaches remain closed as of June 16, 2015 and for the foreseeable future.
Plains All American Pipeline assumed full responsibility for the cleanup, involving 1200 people, 18 skimmer boats, 2 helicopters and a plane at the height of the effort. Approximately 75% of the nearly 100 miles of coastline is now clean; however, Plains’ spokesman stated that there is no timetable for ending the cleanup, which will continue until the cleanup is successfully completed.
Meanwhile, federal and state officials are investigation: federal inspectors said company testing conducted in early May found considerable external corrosion in some pipeline sections; in addition, the California Coastal Commission opened its own investigation into this so-called “Refugio Incident.”
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