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Temporary permit allows crude oil truck shipments on 101 through Santa Barbara County

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Oil giant ExxonMobil was given temporary approval Monday to truck nearly 18-million gallons of crude oil north along Highway 101 through Santa Barbara County.

The amount is equal to 425,000 barrels.

The crude will come from a storage at a facility in Las Flores Canyon on the Gaviota Coast. The facility typically holds about 100,000 barrels, but storage has swollen to more than four times that since the shutdown of the Plains All-American Pipeline last year.

Dianne Black, Assistant Director of Santa Barbara County Planning and Development, acting as Director for this application, approved the emergency permit. She said the temporary agreement is limited to the amount of oil currently in storage at the facility.

"The emergency permit does not authorize them to refill their tanks from any source that would obviate the issue that we're trying to address by giving them this temporary trucking permit," said Black.

The plan calls for transferring the crude to unloading facilities in Santa Maria and Kern County, and is expected to take three to six months with no more than 30 truck trips per day.