June 29, 2015 – Plains Line 901 Incident Response Update

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.

Plains participated in a Unified Command news conference on June 24 to update the media on overall cleanup progress. The prepared news conference remarks of Patrick Hodgins can be found at http://www.plainsline901response.com/go/doc/7266/2551570/. Plains participated in a joint hearing held by the Senate Select Committee on the Refugio Oil Incident and the Assembly Natural Resources Committee in Santa Barbara on June 26, 2015.  The prepared testimony of Patrick Hodgins for the joint hearing can be found at http://www.plainsline901response.com/go/doc/7266/2552586/.

The following update is for the work period from Monday, June 22, through Sunday, June 28, 2015, and is attributable to Patrick Hodgins, senior director, Safety & Security, Plains All American Pipeline.

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 818.  This included an average of 580 people working in the field, and an average 238 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 have been suspended, and the temporary U. S. Coast Guard Safety Zone has been canceled.



  • 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 96% of the affected shoreline / beaches has 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.
  • El Capitan State Beach opened to the public on Friday, June 26th.
  • An average of 440 workers contributed to beach cleanup activities each day, which is now mostly concentrated on manually cleaning oil from the rocks and cobble.
  • Work crews also began removing the remaining oil from the large stones and cliff faces according to the cleanup plan approved by Unified Command.  Several cleaning methods have been tested for cleaning these surfaces.
  • Additional information on the results of tar ball fingerprinting sampling can be found at http://www.plainsline901response.com/go/doc/7266/2552498/.



  • Work crews completed the initial removal of oiled soil, and planning was developed for backfilling clean soil in the area.



  • Initial cleanup has been completed.  Monitoring is in place 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.


(Note: Effective June 22, 2015, Plains began providing weekly updates, with each report containing information since the prior report.)


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