SANTA BARBARA — The Santa Barbara District Attorney and lawyers for Plains All-American Pipeline plan to begin jury selection in the criminal case surrounding a May 2015 oil spill near Refugio State Beach, it was reported.
Plains All-American Pipeline faces criminal charges stemming from the rupture of a 24-inch subterranean oil pipeline near Santa Barbara in 2015.
“The rupture allegedly caused the release of raw crude oil from the pipeline, which then surged down a culvert under the U.S. Highway 101 and into the Pacific Ocean off the Goleta coastline near Refugio State Beach,” a Santa Barbara District Attorney press release stated.
More than 123,000 gallons of crude oil was reportedly released from the affected line – leading to a grand jury indictment against the oil company based in Houston. A Plains Pipeline representative stated about one-fourth of the crude oil actually made it into the ocean.
Attorneys anticipate the criminal trial lasting about three months, according to a news report.