CPA asks BOS to deny the most recent Exxon / Mobil attempt to re-start corroded pipelines

Dear Supervisors:

Over the past decades, Citizens Planning Association has offered input regarding the Plains pipelines, especially after the ruptured pipeline along our precious Gaviota Coast in 2015. We support the EDC position that ExxonMobil or its subsidiary should not be allowed to re-start production from the off shore platforms and use these damaged pipelines.

CPA was encouraged when the Planning Commission voted not to allow a subsidiary of ExxonMobil to install new valves on the corroded pipeline. The 2015 spill was caused by extensive corrosion in the lines. Oil from this spill spread over 150 miles of coastline causing the closure of fisheries, state parks, beaches, and campgrounds, and killed more than 300 marine mammals and seabirds. I happened to be driving on the Gaviota Coast the day of the spill and I will never forget smelling the toxic fumes that filled the air and seeing first responders and oil company personnel standing helplessly along the side of the road. To date, Plains has taken no action to fix the damaged pipelines.

CPA encourages the BOS to uphold the Planning Commission denial of the valve project. This is just too risky. The County has in place several policies to promote clean energy. It is time for the aging and poorly maintained pipelines to be shut down and removed.

The valves are not required by state law at this time. State law (AB 864) requires that coastal pipeline operators install safety features to reduce the volume of a potential spill to protect sensitive coastal resources. Because this pipeline is nonoperational, there is no risk of a spill. Let’s keep it that way. Better yet, please take action to get this aged infrastructure removed.

Marell Brooks
Citizens Planning Association