The company responsible for the oil pipeline that corroded and, in 2015, ruptured, causing the worst Central Coast oil spill in decades, is applying to replace that pipeline and another local pipeline.
Plains All American Pipeline announced Wednesday it submitted permit applications locally for the replacement of Line 901 and Line 903, "in an effort to restore crude oil pipeline transportation service in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Kern Counties."
Santa Barbara County told KSBY News its officials met with Plains on Tuesday to go over the application. Plains is proposing to install a new, 130-mile long steel pipeline with a smaller diameter.
County officials said the pipeline would be installed in the same area. The old pipeline would be cleaned out, capped and most likely left in place.
The county has 30 days to review the application to make sure it is complete. County officials can send the application back to Plains to make any necessary corrections.
Once the application is complete, the county will have an Environmental Impact Report done. That will need to be approved by the County Board of Supervisors and the Planning Commission.
Plains says, if the replacement plans become excessively delayed or are not approved by the counties, the company will repair and restart the existing pipelines.
“Restoring crude oil transportation service to Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Kern Counties will re-establish a critical link in the region’s energy infrastructure, reducing the state’s reliance on crude oil produced outside California,” U.S. Chief Operating Officer of Plains All American Willie Chiang said in a statement.
On May 19, 2015, Plains Line 901 ruptured, spilling approximately 140,000 gallons of oil, much of it flowing to the ocean. The spill was blamed for the deaths of more than 100 marine mammals and nearly 200 birds. Last year, federal regulators said corrosion on the outside of Line 901 caused the spill.