Pipeline company Plains faces criminal charges

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The Texas oil pipeline company behind last year’s 142,000 gallon oil spill along the Gaviota Coast in Santa Barbara County has been indicted on 46 criminal charges.

Plains All American Pipeline faces four felony charges, including knowingly discharging a pollutant into state waters, and 42 misdemeanor charges, including failure to notify proper authorities as well as numerous fish and game code violations.

One Plains employee, Environmental and Regulatory Compliance officer James Buchanan, was indicted individually on three misdemeanor charges.

The charges were handed up by a Santa Barbara County grand jury just shy of the first anniversary of the Refugio Oil Spill.

State Attorney General Kamala Harris and District Attorney Joyce Dudley made the announcement during a press conference at the Santa Barbara District Attorney’s Office today. DA Dudley joined KCRW in studio after the announcement.

One year later, are there things you want to know about the oil spill? Ask your questions here. We’ll investigate.