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Public Invited to Comment on Pipeline Proposal


A draft environmental impact report (DEIR) was released this week that seeks public comment on a new, 8.5-mile onshore pipeline that would replace the Ellwood Pipeline Company’s barging operations at Coal Oil Point. Ellwood Pipeline Company is a subsidiary of Venoco Inc. The current system consists of an ocean platform, Platform Holly, which sends gas and oil to shore through a pipeline to a facility between the Sandpiper Golf Course and Bacara Resort & Spa. After processing, the oil then travels via another pipeline along Hollister Avenue to Pacific Oaks Road en route to the Ellwood Marine Terminal, where two storage tanks are fixed on the UCSB mesa.

The proposed pipeline route—which begins at Platform Holly—would travel under Highway 101 and then west along the north side of the freeway. The planned route would put an end to the biweekly transportation of oil by a barge that loads some 65,000 barrels of oil from the Ellwood Marine Terminal and carries it to Los Angeles or San Francisco. Once the public comment period ends for the DEIR, a copy of which can be found on the county’s Web site (countyofsb.org), the final EIR can be published and certified. Final approval of the project by the county, Goleta, and the California Coastal Commission is expected by late summer.

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