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Pipeline owner agrees to pay $60M over 2015 California spill
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SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — The owner of an oil pipeline that spewed thousands of barrels of crude oil onto Southern California beaches in 2015 will pay $60 million to settle allegations that it violated safety laws, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Friday.
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Texas-based Plains All American Pipeline didn't admit any wrongdoing or liability in the consent decree that will end a lawsuit filed on behalf of federal and state agencies. But it agreed to operational changes and to five years of federal and state scrutiny to ensure it is obeying the pollution and safety rules.
The agreement still must undergo a public comment period and needs federal court approval.
On May 19, 2015, oil gushed from a corroded pipeline north of Refugio State Beach in Santa Barbara County, northwest of Los Angeles. The spill blackened popular beaches for miles, killed or fouled hundred of seabirds, seals and other wildlife and hurt tourism and fishing.