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Pipeline Company Facing More Restrictions To Reopen Santa Barbara County Pipeline Which Ruptured

The pipeline company which owns the pipe which ruptured in Santa Barbara County last year, causing a more than 140,000 gallon oil spill is facing yet more steps before it can reopen the line.

The federal Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration is adding more rules for Plains All-American Pipeline to follow before it can reopen its Line 901 at Refugio State Beach, as well as sister pipeline Line 903.

The order details the use of alarm systems on the pipelines, as well as emergency flow cutoff systems. It also calls for replacement of sections of the pipeline. The Texas based company will also have to apply four months in advance to restart the pipelines, to give federal inspectors ample time to review the efforts.

Plains is facing dozens of criminal charges stemming from the rupture, as well as hundreds of millions of dollars in lawsuits.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.