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State Attorney General investigates whether oil spill was result of criminal activity

Lisa Osborn, KCBX News

California Attorney General Kamala Harris is investigating whether criminal activity was part of last month's oil spill on the Santa Barbara County coast. 

Harris made the comments after getting a first-hand look at the clean-up efforts Wednesday. Harris walked along the coastline, were crews are still dealing with the damage of more than 100-thousand gallons of crude oil spilled back in May.   

She also met with Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley to discuss the possibility of initiating criminal prosecutions relating to that spill. Harris said her office is looking into the company responsible, Plains All-American Pipeline, and said all options are on the table.

"It's something that we're taking very seriously and we've got boots on the ground, and in terms of my office, I've got almost a dozen attorneys combined with folks who are helping with our investigation to work with the local and state and federal agencies and to do our independent investigation," said Harris.

A federal report released this week shows the ruptured portion of pipeline was corroded and its walls were at thin as 1/16th of an inch in some places. Harris called that information troubling. 

Plains All-American Pipeline said they're working with federal investigators to determine why corrosion developed and the cause of the break.

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