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Prosecutors Get Ready For Trial Of Oil Pipeline Company For 2015 Spill In Santa Barbara County

The May, 2015 oil pipeline rupture near Refugio State Beach dumped more than 140,000 gallons of oil into the ocean

Santa Barbara County prosecutors say they are in the final preparations for the February trial of a pipeline company in connection with a huge 2015 oil spill in the county.

The prosecutors say they are preparing an amended indictment outlining criminal charges against Plains All-American Pipeline for the pipeline rupture. The May, 2015 accident near Refugio State Beach spilled more than 140,000 gallons of oil onto beaches and the ocean. Cleanup took months, and cost more than $100 million dollars.

Prosecutors contend the company violated the law in its handling of the incident. However, they have dismissed a criminal charge against an employee, James Colby Buchanan, who was initially accused of failing to follow emergency response plans. Prosecutors now plan to call him as a prosecution witness.

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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