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Closing arguments begin in Plains All American oil spill trial

Posted at 4:21 PM, Aug 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-16 19:21:57-04

Closing arguments began Thursday in the criminal trial against Plains All American Pipeline.

The Texas company owns the oil pipeline that spilled more than 140,000 gallons of crude oil near Refugio State Beach on May 19, 2015. Much of that oil flowed into the Pacific Ocean, killing hundreds of birds and marine mammals.

The company faces a 15-count indictment that includes three felonies. The charges say Plains All American violated the Clean Waters Act.

The company has said the spill was an accident, not a crime. 

Previously, charges were dropped against a Plains employee and two-thirds of the original charges have been dismissed.

Opening statements began mid-May in the case being heard in Santa Barbara. 

Once closing arguments are complete, the jury will begin deliberations.