Company Wants To Use Trucks To Move Oil In Santa Barbara County In Wake Of Pipeline Break

Jul 31, 2020

An environmental report has been released on a proposal to use trucks to move oil from some Santa Barbara County oil facilities shut down by a 2015 oil pipeline rupture.

ExxonMobil wants to restart three oil platforms off the county’s coastline, as well as an onshore oil facility.  They were shut down by the May, 2015 Plains All-American pipeline rupture near Refugio State Beach.  The spill dumped more than 140,000 gallons of oil onto the ground and into the ocean.

The pipeline moved oil from the coastal facilities to processing plants, but it could be years still before it returns to service.  ExxonMobil is proposing to use trucks to temporarily fill the gap.  The plan calls for shipping 70 truckloads a day of oil from its onshore oil facility in Gaviota to processing facilities in Santa Maria, and Kern County.

A final supplemental impact report on the plan has been released for public review.  The idea has generated strong opposition from the environmental community, which warns of the potential for accidents.  The Santa Barbara County Planning Commission is expected to hold hearings on the proposal in September.