Oil sheen contained in Talbert Channel near site of last year’s major O.C. pipeline spill, seen on March 22, 2018. Photo : U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ( DoD )
An environmental group says a controversial leak in the Pacific Ocean this week wasn’t caused by the O.C. Line, and it wants California regulators to consider new health and safety requirements for oil pipelines in the state.
On Tuesday night, a 20-inch pipeline owned by Chevron Corp. ruptured when a “high pressure” pipeline segment was being raised up on top of a concrete block, according to officials with the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE).
The agency did not immediately describe the nature of Sunday’s explosion as an “explosion,” as it was in part because officials had to determine what happened in the days following the accident.
The leak and fire were immediately reported by Chevron and the Department of Fish and Wildlife—though both agencies have so far declined to release details.
But in a letter sent today to the California Department of Toxic Substance Control, the Center for Biological Diversity is calling for new health and safety requirements for oil pipelines in California.
“We are concerned that the O.C. Line incident is an anomaly,” said Kelly Sims, spokeswoman for the Center for Biological Diversity. “It was not caused by the pipeline, but the release of oil or natural gas into the environment. And the failure to develop new requirements to protect the health and safety of workers and the surrounding community will mean that we’ll likely see another such accident in California, and the same mistakes will continue to be made.”
This video is not supported by your browser at this time.
“Instead of allowing Chevron and other companies to get away with breaking the rules one time, we urge regulators to use this failure as a warning that new rules are needed,” Sims continued after the agency declined to release details on what caused the spill. “Cleanup efforts can help prevent a similar disaster from occurring in the future.”
The letter noted that Chevron’s main pipeline system carries between 600,000 and 1.5 million barrels of oil per day throughout the U