June 8, 2015 – Line 901 Incident Update


Plains All American Pipeline provided the following update as cleanup operations continued near Goleta, Calif.  This update is for Saturday, June 6 and Sunday, June 7 and is attributable to Patrick Hodgins, senior director, Safety & Security, Plains All American Pipeline, who is serving as the Plains Incident Commander and its representative within Unified Command.

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.

On Saturday, more than 1,250 people worked on the response across the five work zones and in the Incident Command Post.  Nearly 1,150 people were in the field, and nearly 120 people, including federal, state and local agency partners, were managing the operations in the command center. On Sunday, more than 1,175 people worked on the response across the five work zones and in the Incident Command Post. More than 1,075 people were in the field, and more than 100 people, including federal, state and local agency partners, were managing the operations in the command center.

As part of the recovery effort, Shoreline Cleanup Assessment Technique (SCAT) teams, made up of federal, state and third-party scientists trained in evaluating oil coverage on shorelines, have been surveying the affected beaches and reporting on their status. This work includes inspecting the high and low tide areas, probing the conditions of the sand up to two feet below the surface, and examining the rocks and other features along the beaches for oiling. These survey results have been used to prioritize cleanup strategies for work crews.

The final recovery stage of the shore line assessment teams includes an examination of the beaches to determine whether the cleanup crews have achieved the end-point cleanup objectives previously determined by Unified Command. These survey results and recommendations are then provided to the Unified Command for final approval or “sign off.”  Because the Central Coast beaches typically demonstrate signs of oiling caused by the natural seeps, it is likely Unified Command will “sign off” and bring an end to the recovery phase cleanup on beaches, even though they show signs of oil from natural seeps.  This is one of the reasons Unified Command is testing the samples of natural seep oil.

As of the end of day, Sunday, June 7, SCAT teams have signed off on 59% of the impacted shoreline, meaning the end-point cleanup objectives have been attained in those areas and that no additional cleaning in the recovery phase is required.

The following is an update on activity in the work zones, primarily focused on activities from Sunday, June 7.


  • We continued efforts to address any recoverable oil.  As of Sunday, 8 vessels and about 6,100 feet of booms were deployed to capture any sheen and to protect the shore.
  • Natural seep oil was observed from scheduled NOAA over-flights. This area is prone to natural oil seepage and the environmental unit is assessing possible sources and distinction of natural seepage versus oil spilled from this response.
  • Nearly all the remaining visible pipeline oil remains co-mingled with the rock and cobble. As the tides ebb and flow, we continue to maintain teams on the beach to clean rocks and cobble as this happens.


  • Four teams of recovery experts conducted regular shoreline cleanup assessments to direct the deployment of work crews and determine the best methods of removing the oil.
  • Work crews continue clean up at work sites from Gaviota Creek, Santa Barbara County, to Hollywood Beach, Ventura County.
  • In Ventura County cleaning operations is continuing and shoreline cleanup assessments are being conducted to determine whether any additional cleaning will be necessary.  Unified Command is still awaiting final test results that should help identify the source of the oily material that washed up on shore. Until we know more, Plains continues to respond as if this is related to the Refugio Incident and commits to do what is necessary to clean Ventura’s beaches.


  • In the area west of the southbound 101, work crews continued making progress excavating the oiled soil.


  • We have completed the initial cleanup and are continuing to monitor the area 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, we will cover the exposed section of pipe 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.
  • We regret any impact this unfortunate accidental release has caused and are working diligently to provide relief.