A class action lawsuit has been filed against Plains All American Pipeline over a May 19 oil spill that poured more than 100,000 gallons of toxic crude into the Pacific Ocean off the Santa Barbara coast.
What’s the Problem?
June 26, 2015 – The class action, which was filed on behalf of over 3,000 property owners from Point Conception to the Mexico border, alleges that Plains’ ruptured pipeline (“Line 901”) lacked an automatic shut-off system which could have prevented the spill.
When Line 901 was constructed in 1987, Santa Barbara officials requested that a shut-off system be installed and that the county inspect the welds on the pipe. Instead, Plains filed a lawsuit, arguing that the county lacked the authority to inspect the pipeline or force it to install the system.
Since 2006, Plains has been cited at least 175 times for safety and maintenance violations and paid millions of dollars in fines. The environmental impact of last month’s spill has spread beyond Santa Barbara county.
Studies released this week by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and UC Santa Barbara indicate that tarballs from the spill have been recovered from Ventura and Los Angeles County beaches.
The named plaintiff in the class action, a family trust, owns beachfront real estate north of Refugio State Beach. The class action is: United States District Court, Central District of Calif., Case No. 2:15-cv-04759-DMG-AS.