California crude oil leaking pipeline operators to pay $13m pollution charges


The owners of a pipeline that spilt crude oil into beaches in California have agreed to admit guilt to charges of environmental contamination and pay $13 million, these businesses announced on Friday. 

Two of its subsidiaries, Beta Operating Co. and San Pedro Bay Pipeline Co., along with Texas-based Amplify Energy, which runs the pipeline off Huntington Beach, have stated they will formally acknowledge letting oil contaminate the waters off southern California in October of last year. 

They will pay a $7.1 million fine and $5.8 million in restitution to federal agencies that helped clean up 25,000 gallons of crude oil that leaked from their pipeline as part of plea pleas made in federal court.

South of Los Angeles, between Huntington Beach and Laguna Beach, a stretch of coast that is popular with surfers and is also home to dolphins, was blackened by the spill for 18 miles (24 kilometres). 

Inspections conducted underwater found that a significant portion of the pipeline had been moved and had a pipe rupture. 

Also Read: Russian militarisation in Arctic region ‘strategic challenge’, says NATO chief

Given that the area is frequently crowded with cargo ships waiting to reach the big ports of Los Angeles and lengthy Beach, investigators stated last year that they feared the damage may have been caused by the anchor of a ship. 

Amplify’s president and CEO, Martyn Willsher, stated that the business had “cooperatively” worked to fix the issue as soon as it was identified.

“We believe this resolution, which is subject to court review and approval, reflects the commitments we made immediately following the incident to impacted parties and is in the best interest of Amplify and its stakeholders. We are committed to safely operating in a way that ensures the protection of the environment and the surrounding communities,” said Willsher.

Amplify has also promised to upgrade the pipeline’s leak detection system and improve inspections there.

(with inputs from agencies)

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *