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Environment

Federal report blames Plains All-American for severity of Refugio oil spill

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Refugio Response Join Information Center
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Oil-soaked land downhill from the ruptured Plains All-American Pipeline in June, 2015

This has not been a good week for Plains All-American Pipeline, the company at the center of last year's Refugio Oil Spill.

On Tuesday, the State of California and Santa Barbara County announced criminal charges against the company.  Then, on the Thursday—the one-year anniversary of the spill—a federal investigation was released which puts responsibility for the spill squarely on the company.

It says Plains provided ineffective protection against pipeline corrosion, failed to detect and control it, and did not have a timely response to the rupture.

The Report was done by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA).

It also says the "consequences of the spill were additionally aggravated" by a response plan that did not identify a nearby culvert that allowed crude oil to reach the Santa Barbara Channel.