Almost exactly a year after an oil pipeline owned by Plains All American LLP ruptured and spilled at least 143,000 gallons of crude oil into the coast at Refugio State Beach, Ventura residents awoke on the morning of Thursday, June 23 to yet another major oil pipeline spill. This latest regional oil calamity originated from an aging, 75 year old line known as the “V-10” which moves oil from Ventura oil fields to Los Angeles area refineries. The spill eventually released an estimated 30,000 gallons of crude into the Prince Barranca in a densely populated area within the City of Ventura adjacent to Ventura High School.
It is hard to believe it has already been one month since the Plains All American Pipeline leaked more than 100,000 gallons of crude oil onto our precious Gaviota Coast, closing once pristine state parks and so far killing a minimum of 280 marine mammals and seabirds. EDC staff has been engaged on multiple fronts, doing essential legal research and investigation and advancing regional, statewide, and federal solutions to ensure our region never again has to face this kind of devastation.
It has been an emotional experience, standing on Refugio State Beach, overwhelmed and nauseated by the stench and facing the damage that crude oil has once again caused to our precious coastline. It’s not like we haven’t been here before. But somehow each time oil befouls a treasured beach or I see the dark sheen of oil floating toward the horizon, it hits me like a fresh punch.