Oil Companies Charged with Criminal Negligence California County Spill

A federal grand jury has charged Amplify Energy Corp. and two subsidiary firms, Beta Operating Co. and San Pedro Bay Pipeline Co. with negligence for causing the San Pedro Bay Pipeline Oil Spill in Orange County.

The companies reportedly failed to properly respond to alarms from an automated leak detection system, worked with fatigued staff, and did not respond properly to the leak.

“As a result of the allegedly negligent conduct, what is estimated to be about 25,000 gallons of crude oil were discharged from a point approximately 4.7 miles west of Huntington Beach from a crack in the 16-inch pipeline,” said DOJ.

The DOJ added that the Coast Guard Investigative Service; the U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Inspector General; the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Criminal Investigation Division; and the FBI are still investigating the oil leak.

The USC Sea Grant said that they have collected 5,544 gallons of oil, 13.6 barrels of tarballs, and 546,782 pounds of “oil sand and debris” from the Southern California coast so far because of the oil spill.

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