Judge approves $230 million settlement in California oil spill case – Reuters

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LOS ANGELES — A judge has approved a $230 million settlement by the owners of a pipeline that spilled more than 140,000 gallons of crude oil into the ocean off California in 2015, attorneys said Thursday.

A federal judge in Los Angeles gave final approval Tuesday to a class action settlement that blamed All American Pipeline, LP and Plains Pipeline, LP for the May 2015 spill off the coast of Santa Barbara.

The corroded underwater pipeline ruptured north of Refugio State Beach in Santa Barbara County, northwest of Los Angeles. All American Pipeline later estimated that 142,800 gallons spilled.

It was California’s worst coastal oil spill since 1969. It blackened popular beaches for miles, killing or fouling hundreds of seabirds, seals and other wildlife and harming tourism and tourism. the Peach.

“Due to faulty maintenance and extensive pipeline corrosion, the pipeline ruptured and overturned, devastating the fishing industry and littering coastal properties from Santa Barbara County to Los County. Angeles,” said a press release from the law firms that filed the lawsuit.

People who think they are entitled to some of the money have until October 31 to submit their claims.

The companies did not admit liability in the settlement agreement, which was reached in May after seven years of legal wrangling.

Federal inspectors found Plains made several preventable mistakes, failed to detect the pipeline rupture early, and reacted too slowly as the oil leaked to the ocean.

Plains apologized for the spill and paid for the expensive cleanup. In 2020, Plains agreed to pay $60 million to the federal government to settle allegations that it violated security laws. It also agreed to bring its national pipeline system into compliance with federal safety laws.

Plains has applied for permission to build a new pipeline, but faces an uphill battle.

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