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Judge Rejects Effort To Drop All Criminal Charges Connected To Santa Barbara County Oil Spill

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Aerial view of May, 2015 Refugio Oil Spill

A judge has denied efforts by the company which owns the pipeline which caused the big 2015 Santa Barbara County oil spill to dismiss criminal charges stemming from the accident.

Plains All American pipeline had sought dismissal of 46 criminal charges against it, as well as three charges against one of its employees. A Santa Barbara County Superior Court judge did dismiss one of the three charges against the employee, but let the remaining two misdemeanor counts against him stand.

A pipeline failure near Refugio State Beach resulted in a more than 140,000 gallon spill which took months to clean up from the ocean, and beaches. The pipeline is still offline.

In addition to the criminal charges Plains faces in court, it’s also the target of a number of 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. 
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