One Year After the Devastating Plains All American Pipeline “Refugio Oil Spill”
May 19, 2016
Legislators and Leading Environmental Organizations Address Concerns and Next Steps to Protect and Restore our Damaged Coast
Santa Barbara, CA – One year to the day since the Refugio Oil Spill devastated our coast, state and federal legislators and leading environmental organizations held a press conference today at Refugio State Beach. Together, they outlined the work that still needs to be done to restore beaches and bluffs to a pre-spill condition and to ensure a disaster like this never happens again.
The 2015 spill of more than 140,000 gallons of heavy crude forced the closure of two popular and formerly pristine state beaches, spread oil across 150 miles of coastline, closed 138 square miles of fisheries, and killed more than 300 marine mammals and seabirds. The devastation, which Plains All American for months repeatedly called “an inconvenience,” still has impacts across southern California and now, in addition to spurring lawsuits from numerous groups and individuals, has brought a 46 count criminal indictment from the State of California and the County of Santa Barbara.
Here, you will find the statements from those groups and individuals who participated in today’s press conference and the areas on which they focused, including:
o Congresswoman Lois Capps – The need for federal regulatory changes
o State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson – State legislation and action
o Assemblymember Das Williams – State legislation and action
o Linda Krop, Chief Counsel, Environmental Defense Center – Restoring our coast, increased pipeline safety
o Michael Lyons, President, Get Oil Out! (GOO!) – Understanding the damage done
o Kira Redmond, Executive Director, Santa Barbara Channelkeeper – New coastal monitoring, legal action in response to lacking transparency
o Katie Davis, Group Chair, Sierra Club Los Padres Chapter – New oil threats facing our coast
o Sigrid Wright, CEO, Community Environmental Council – Clean energy alternatives
The Environmental Defense Center, a non-profit law firm, protects and enhances the local environment through education, advocacy, and legal action and works primarily within Santa Barbara, Ventura, and San Luis Obispo counties. Since 1977, EDC has empowered community based organizations to advance environmental protection. Learn more about EDC at www.EnvironmentalDefenseCenter.org