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US grand jury charges oil company in California spill

California Oil Spill
Posted at 4:47 PM, Dec 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-15 19:50:38-05

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles federal grand jury has charged a Texas oil company and two subsidiaries for an oil spill off the Southern California coast in October.

Federal prosecutors said Wednesday that Amplify Energy Corp. and its two subsidiaries that operate oil rigs and a pipeline off Long Beach were charged with a misdemeanor for illegally discharging oil.

A ruptured pipeline that is believed to have been caused when a cargo ship snagged it with an anchor spilled about 25,000 gallons of crude oil.

The indictment said the companies were negligent by failing to respond to a series of alarms that should have alerted them to the spill more than 13 hours before the pipeline was ultimately shut down.

If convicted, the charge carries up to five years of probation for the corporation and fines that could total millions of dollars.