For Immediate Release, June 23, 2016
Contact: Kristen Monsell, (510) 844-7137, firstname.lastname@example.org
Pipeline Company in Southern California Oil Spill Has Long History of Leaks
VENTURA, Calif.— The company that just spilled thousands of gallons of crude near the California coast in Ventura has a decade-long history of oil spills in the state, according to information uncovered by the Center for Biological Diversity.
Crimson Pipeline has had at least 10 other spills caused by corrosion, ruptures, equipment failure and other problems in California since 2006, federal data show. These incidents resulted in more than $5.8 million in property damage and over 320,000 gallons of hazardous materials being spilled into California’s environment.
Crimson operates more than 1,000 miles of pipeline in California, yet the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration does not seem to have taken any enforcement actions against the company or conducted any inspections of its pipelines in the state since 2006.
“This company has a disturbing history of dangerous oil spills, yet federal pipeline regulators seem to have done almost nothing to protect our state,” said Kristen Monsell, a Center attorney. “The new spill is another grim example of why we have to get pipelines and oil drilling out of California’s vulnerable coastal environment. We’ve got to stop thinking about these oil spills as accidents and start seeing them for what they are: completely predictable ecological tragedies that we can prevent with strong action.”
A Plains All American pipeline rupture in Santa Barbara County last year spilled more than 120,000 gallons of oil onto the California coast, killing hundreds of birds and marine animals.
An analysis of federal pipeline data commissioned by the Center showed there have been nearly 8,000 serious pipeline breaks nationwide since 1986, causing more than 2,300 injuries and nearly $7 billion in property damage.
The vast majority of those incidents have involved oil pipelines, spilling more than 2 million barrels — or 84 million gallons — into waterways and on the ground over the past 30 years. More than 35 percent of these incidents have been caused by corrosion or other structural failures.
Since 1986 pipeline accidents in the United States have spilled an average of 3 million gallons of oil or other hazardous liquids per year.
The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.