$13M Settlement Reached for 2021 Oil Spill

Posted on 10/3/2022 by Roger Marks

Three parties reached settlements to resolve alleged criminal violations of the Clean Water Act resulting from a spill of about 25,000 gallons of oil from a pipeline off the California coast last year.

An energy company and two of its subsidiaries each pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of negligent oil discharge into the water. The companies will pay a $7.1 million criminal penalty and serve four years on probation. In addition, the companies will reimburse the government for $5.8 million in response costs.

While serving four years probation, the companies must:

  • Improve training for employees and management,  
  • Install a new leak detection system for pipelines,
  • Visually inspect the pipeline (underwater) twice per year,
  • Notify regulators of all leak detection alarms, and
  • Make procedural modifications at a cost of about $250,000.

Lastly, the companies must contract with an oil spill response organization that is able to detect oil on the water’s surface at night or in low-light conditions.  

What Happened?

The oil spill occurred on October 1 and 2, 2021 from a pipeline that transfers crude oil from offshore facilities to a Long Beach, CA processing plant.  

Multiple leak detection alarms sounded, leading employees to shut down the pipeline.

However, employees “repeatedly and incorrectly assessed that there was no leak,” according to the Department of Justice. Because they did not recognize the leak, employees pumped more oil through the pipeline. This caused about 588 barrels of crude oil to be discharged off the coast of Huntington Beach.

The crack in the pipeline may have been caused by a vessel operator striking and dragging the pipeline with their anchor, according to Federal transportation investigators.

$13M Settlement Reached for 2021 Oil Spill

Last Environmental Regulations Webinar of 2022

Key requirements for Clean Water Act compliance and oil spill notifications are among the topics covered during Lion’s Complete Environmental Regulations Webinar. Join a Lion instructor for the final webinar of the year on December 5—6.

The live, instructor-led webinar provides an overview of US EPA’s major air, water, and chemical programs—from the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts to EPCRA, TSCA, Superfund, and more. EH&S professionals who attend can identify the regulations that apply to their facility and locate key requirements to achieve compliance.  

Tags: Clean Water Act, environmental compliance, oil spill

Find a Post

Compliance Archives

Lion - Quotes

Lion does a great job summarizing and communicating complicated EH&S-related regulations.

Michele Irmen

Sr. Environmental Engineer

The workshop covered a lot of information without being too overwhelming. Lion is much better, more comprehensive than other training providers.

George Alva

Manufacturing Manager

The instructor was excellent. They knew all of the material without having to read from a notepad or computer.

Gary Hartzell

Warehouse Supervisor

I like the consistency of Lion workshops. The materials are well put together and instructors are top notch!

Kevin Pylka

Permitting, Compliance & Environmental Manager

Excellent job. Made what is very dry material interesting. Thoroughly explained all topics in easy-to-understand terms.

David Hertvik

Vice President

Lion's information is very thorough and accurate. Presenter was very good.

Melissa Little

Regulatory Manager

These are the best classes I attend each year. I always take something away and implement improvements at my sites.

Kim Racine

EH&S Manager

The instructor was very dedicated to providing a quality experience. She did her best to make sure students were really comprehending the information.

Stephanie Venn

Inventory Control Specialist

Energetic/enthusiastic! Made training enjoyable, understandable and fun!

Amanda Walsh

Hazardous Waste Professional

This training broke down the regulations in an easy-to-understand manner and made them less overwhelming. I now feel I have the knowledge to make more informed decisions.

Amanda Oswald

Shipping Professional

Download Our Latest Whitepaper

Tips to identify and manage universal waste under more-stringent state regulations for generators and universal waste handlers in California.

Latest Whitepaper

By submitting your phone number, you agree to receive recurring marketing and training text messages. Consent to receive text messages is not required for any purchases. Text STOP at any time to cancel. Message and data rates may apply. View our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.