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Statement On Santa Barbara Oil Spill

WSPA is monitoring the response to the May 19 crude oil pipeline leak in Santa Barbara County.  The emergency response incident command structure has been activated.  The U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are coordinating the federal response effort and the California Department of Parks and Recreation and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife are coordinating the state response.

As an industry, we are always concerned when accidents like this happen.  WSPA members strive to prevent any amount of spillage and have numerous programs and procedures designed to prevent such occurrences.  Once the incident is contained and thoroughly cleaned up, they will review the facts surrounding this incident and apply what they learn to prevent future accidents.

We are grateful for the quick response on the part of the Coast Guard, Plains All American, the Office of Oil Spill Prevention and Response and other responders that appear to have quickly limited the size of the spill.  And we appreciate the efforts of the local response agencies and volunteers who are working on cleanup efforts.

Plains All American, the owner of the pipeline, is a member of the Western States Petroleum Association.

The pipeline is operated as a common carrier of crude oil, which means it conveys oil produced by companies operating in the central coastal region of California and delivers it through a network of pipelines to refineries throughout the state.

Information on the response is available at the following websites.



Plains All American Pipeline's newsroom is currently down. We are including the company's statement below:

Plains All American Pipeline responds to crude oil release along California coast

Earlier today, Plains All American Pipeline, L.P., became aware of a crude oil release from its 24-inch Las Flores to Gaviota pipeline in Santa Barbara County. Initial reports indicate the released oil reached a culvert leading to the Pacific Ocean. As a result, the spill has impacted ocean water and the shoreline. At this time, the amount of released oil is unknown.

Plains shut down the flow of oil in the pipeline and has initiated its emergency response plan. The culvert has been blocked so no additional oil is reaching the water. Plains is working with local officials and first responders on site to begin clean up and remediation efforts. 

Plains deeply regrets this release has occurred and is making every effort to limit its environmental impact. Our focus remains on ensuring the safety of all involved. No injuries have been reported at this time. 

Plains will continue to provide updates on the response effort as more information is made available. For the most up-to-date information throughout the response or to make direct inquiries, please visit A claims and information number has been established at 866 753 3619.