In the first week of December, Plains Pipeline, L.P. will begin the steps to purge the 30-inch Line 903, which runs from the Gaviota Coast to Kern County. Line 903 was shut down at the direction of the U.S. Department of Transportation, Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA) shortly after oil was spilled from Line 901 onto Refugio State Beach in May.

On July 16, 2015, the Office of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR) released results of oil fingerprint testing of tar ball samples taken on Santa Barbara County and Ventura County Beaches. Of the 44 samples taken, the sample taken at Las Varas Beach on the Gaviota Coast tested positive for Plains Line 901 oil.

On July 3, 2015 and pursuant to the County's Coastal Zoning Ordinance, the Santa Barbara County Planning and Development Department issued a written Emergency Permit to Plains Pipeline LP for cleanup of the Refugio Oil Spill.


On May 30, 2015, representatives from the agencies who responded to the Refugio Oil Spill held an open house to respond to questions from the public regarding the oil spill response. In addition to conversations with attendees, questions were submitted in writing for follow-up response. While answers to some questions are still being researched and developed, every attempt is being made to respond to all concerns.

El Capitan State Beach has been cleared by the California Department of Parks and Recreation to re-open, Friday, June 26, 2015.

Following the Refugio Oil Spill Incident on May 19, 2015, there have been a number of questions regarding ocean water quality in Santa Barbara County. In response to specific requests for this information, a summary of water sampling will be made public and posted on the Public Health Department website at www.sbcphd.org.

Letter from Planning and Development to ExxonMobil

Following the Refugio Oil Spill Incident on May 19, 2015, there have been a number of questions regarding air quality in Santa Barbara County. In response to specific requests for this information, air testing results will be made public and posted on the Public Health Department website at www.sbcphd.org.

Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce E. Dudley announced that she met with Attorney General Kamala Harris today, in Santa Barbara, in order to discuss the possibility of initiating any criminal and/or civil prosecutions relating to the Refugio Oil Spill.

The public has expressed a passionate commitment to the environment and wildlife through requests to volunteer to help with Refugio Incident. Volunteers from the general public will be used to assist with beach clean-up and various tasks over the next several days.

The public has expressed a passionate commitment to the environment and wildlife through requests to volunteer to help with Refugio Incident. Volunteers from the general public will be used to assist with beach clean-up and various tasks over the next several days.

Santa Barbara County remains actively involved in the response to the Refugio Oil Spill. Multiple County departments are working around the clock, in the field and at the County Emergency Operations Center (EOC), which is operating under a Unified Command structure with the Environmental Protection Agency and United States Coast Guard as the lead agencies.

The following was issued on 5/20/15 by the unified response effort, led by the U.S. Coast Guard with U.S. EPA, California Fish and Wildlife, Office of Spill Prevention, Santa Barbara Office of Emergency Management, other local, state and federal agencies, and the responsible party, Plains All American Pipeline. The spill was detected on 5/19/15.

El Departamento de Salud Pública del Condado de Santa Bárbara advierte a los residentes que hay posibles impactos a la salud del derrame de petróleo en la playa de Refugio.

Although there have been a few reports of people that experienced headaches or eye and throat irritation yesterday, we are not aware of anyone that has required medical attention related to the oil spill. However, the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department cautions residents that there are potential health impacts from the Refugio oil spill.