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Environment and Energy

Oil spill criminal charges against Plains All-American become public

Lisa Osborn, KCBX News
California Attorney General Kamala Harris tours Refugio State Beach following the May 2015 Plains All-American Pipeline spill.

The criminal indictments against the pipeline company at the center of last year's oil spill on the Santa Barbara County coast are now public record.

Plains All-American had sought to seal the information, but a Santa Barbara County judge ruled otherwise.

There are a total of 46 criminal charges facing the company including four felonies. Three of those deal with the spill itself, on the land and in the sea. The fourth accuses Plains All-American of making a false or misleading oil-spill report to the state.

As many as 140,000 gallons of crude oil leaked from Pipeline 901 in May, 2015, contaminating miles of shoreline and closing beaches and fisheries for several weeks.

Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley said Thursday that her office represents the state in this case and her team is prepared to handle it, however it plays out.

"What we want is justice for the State of California and for the County of Santa Barbara and if that justice comes in the form of a trail, we're prepared to go to trail," Dudley said. "If it comes in the form of a plea, we're prepared to go forward with that."

The arraignment for Plains All-American Pipeline is scheduled for June 30. Earlier, on June 16, two motions will also be heard regarding whether the public has the right to see the transcripts of the Grand Jury's proceedings. Plains All-American is asking that those transcripts be sealed.