Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Oil Pipeline Company Convicted Of Nine Counts For Massive 2015 Oil Spill In Santa Barbara County


A Santa Barbara County Superior Court jury found a pipeline company guilty of one felony, and eight misdemeanor criminal charges in connection with the massive May, 2015 oil spill at Refugio State Beach.

Plains All-American Pipeline was on trial for the spill, which dumped an estimated 140,000 gallons of crude oil onto the coast, and into the ocean.

The felony conviction was for failing to maintain the pipeline. The misdemeanor counts included failing to notify authorities of the disaster on a timely bases, and of killing marine mammals, birds, and other marine life. It took months to clean up the spill, with cleanup costs estimated in excess of $100 million dollars. A mistrial was declared on three counts, and the company was found not guilty of a fourth. Sentencing is set for December.

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.