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Pipeline company hosts open house on plans for oil pipeline project

Posted at 4:29 PM, Jan 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-29 22:43:05-05

Plains All American Pipeline on Tuesday held the first of three public open house events this week on its plans to replace a failed pipeline.

In May 2015, one of the company’s pipelines ruptured and spilled more than 100,000 gallons of crude oil near Refugio State Beach in Santa Barbara County. Some of that oil flowed into the Pacific Ocean, killing hundreds of birds and marine mammals.

In September 2018, Plains was found guilty of one felony and eight misdemeanor criminal charges related to the oil spill. It’s also facing several lawsuits.

Now, the company wants to replace the failed pipeline and restore crude oil pipeline transportation between Santa Barbara and Kern counties.

“Exxon has the right to turn those platforms back on, we have the right to repair the existing lines, and we’ve made the decision that is in the best interest of the community (where) to place it,” said Steve Greig, Director of Government Affairs for Plains All American Pipeline.

Plains says the new pipeline would be smaller but with a thicker pipe wall, and the pipe’s valves would be doubled in size. It would stretch approximately 125 miles.

Tuesday’s open house was held in Arroyo Grande.

Two additional open house events will be held this week in Santa Barbara County:

  • Wednesday, Jan. 30; 3:30-7 p.m. – Santa Maria Inn, 801 S. Broadway, Santa Maria
  • Thursday, Jan. 31; 3:30-7 p.m. – Elks Lodge, 150 N. Kellogg Ave., Goleta

Plains has also set up a website for the proposed project, which is under consideration by Santa Barbara County officials.