A California grand jury has indicted the Plains All American Pipeline Co. after its pipeline near Santa Barbara burst last year and permitted the spilling of 140,000 gallons of crude oil into Pacific Ocean. The indictment also includes one of its employees.
Altogether, Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley obtained 46 counts, of which 4 are felonies. The prosecutor said that Plains has not cooperated with the investigation. The rupture happened on May 19, 2015.
Plains said that criminal charges are “unwarranted” and that it deeply regrets the “accident.”
“Plains remains committed to mitigating the impact of the Line 901 accident, taking appropriate and prudent steps to prevent future incidents, and working with the Unified Command, members of the community and other stakeholders to meet our commitments stemming from the accident,” says a statement by Plains. “We also intend to share key findings from this accident with other pipeline operators to improve practices industry-wide and help prevent similar incidents in the future.”