July 13, 2015 – Plains Line 901 Incident Response Update

(Note: Effective today, weekly updates on Line 901 response efforts will end, but Plains will continue to provide additional updates on an as needed basis.)

Plains All American Pipeline provided the following update as cleanup operations for the Line 901 incident continued near Refugio State Beach, Calif.

Plains deeply regrets that this unfortunate accidental release occurred, and we are sorry for the resulting impact to the environment and wildlife, as well as for any disruption caused to residents and visitors. Plains is committed to doing everything in our power to make this right.

The following update is for the work period from Monday, July 6 through Sunday, July 12 and is attributable to Patrick Hodgins, senior director, Safety and Security, Plains All American Pipeline.

California State Parks and members of the Unified Command completed a site assessment of Refugio State Beach and deemed it safe for the public and it will reopen Friday, July 17. All recreational activities can resume including swimming, camping and fishing. Non-state park areas to the (east/south) of Refugio State Beach will remain closed as cleanup work continues, but the closures will not affect beachgoers or campers. Due to clean-up operations in those areas, the public is asked to avoid closed areas.

The total number of people working on the response across the five work zones and in the Incident Command Post over the seven-day period averaged 402.  This included an average of 373 people working in the field, and an average of 29 people, including federal, state and local agency partners, managing operations in the command center.

The following is an update on activity in the work zones:


  • As all visible pipeline oil has been removed from the water, cleanup operations on the water were suspended several weeks ago.


  • Shoreline Cleanup Assessment Technique (SCAT) experts continued to conduct shoreline cleanup assessments to direct the deployment of work crews.  The SCAT teams are made up of federal, state and third-party scientists trained in assessing shoreline oiling and determining appropriate cleanup methods.
  • SCAT teams have determined that 98% of the affected shoreline / beaches have met the end-point cleanup objectives determined by Unified Command for this stage of the recovery efforts.  Clean areas will continue to be monitored to determine whether additional work might be necessary.
  • An average of 257 workers contributed to beach cleanup activities each day, which is now mostly concentrated on manually cleaning oil from the rocks and cobble.
  • Work crews continued to remove the remaining oil from the large stones and cliff faces according to the cleanup plan approved by Unified Command.


  • Work crews completed the initial removal of oiled soil, and plans have been approved to begin backfill on Tuesday for section 4 and restore clean soil in the area.


  • Initial cleanup has been completed.  Lab results are being analyzed to determine whether additional work is necessary.

Release Site

  • As soon as the remaining activities conclude and testing confirms the oil has been removed from the soil in the area, the exposed section of pipe will be covered with clean soil.


  • For those who have questions or who would like to submit a claim, please call 866-753-3619. We are actively addressing claims as they are received.

For more information, please visit www.plainsline901response.com.