WEATHER »

Refugio Oil Spill

At around 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Santa Barbara County firefighters were dispatched just west of Refugio State Beach to investigate a strong, gassy smell wafting through the area. They soon discovered a river of oil spewing down a storm drain and straight into the ocean that quickly covered four miles of pristine Gaviota coastline in thick crude.

Photo Galleries © Paul Wellman

• Day 1 - Refugio Coast Oil Spill
• Day 2 - Refugio Coast Oil Spill Cleanup
• Day 3 - Oil Spill Rally at the Santa Barbara Courthouse
• Day 3 - Plains All American Gaviota Oil Spill
• Day 3 - Refugio Oil Spill Aerial and On Site Visit

Plains All American Proposes to Replace Pipeline

Massive oil-transport company decides not to repair broken pipe that caused Refugio Oil Spill. Read story.

Originally published 2:17 p.m., August 16, 2017
Updated 10:55 a.m., August 18, 2017

Oil Spill Lessons

A Refugio retrospective, two years after. Read story.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Plains Claims It Can’t Get Fair Trial

Pipeline Company Says Potential Jurors Swayed by Negative Media Reports Read story.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Advanced Leak Detection Ordered for Ruptured Plains Pipeline

Federal agency seeks quicker discovery of oil spills. Read story.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Dignitaries, Watchdogs Remember Refugio

They speak to next steps in big oil regulation and renewable energy. Read story.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Feds Rip Pipeline Company for Oil Spill

Plains All American blasted for “preventable errors” and multiple failures in Refugio. Read story.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

DA and AG Throw Book at Plains All American

Forty-six criminal charges filed against pipeline company responsible for Refugio Oil Spill. Read story.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Plains All American Indicted in Refugio Oil Spill

Company says it's facing 46 criminal counts. Read story.

Originally published 11:05 a.m., May 17, 2016
Updated 5:41 p.m., May 17, 2016

A Dog by Any Other Name

Refugio Oil Spill one year later: too many unanswered questions Read story.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Venoco Sues Plains for $12.4 Million in Lost Earnings

The company was forced to halt production after the Refugio Oil Spill. Read story.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Venoco Declares Bankruptcy

Plummeting oil prices and pipeline closure force company to take billion-dollar shave and haircut. Read story.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Capps Optimistic About Pipeline Safety Bill

Thinks a compromise can be reached before next hearing. Read story.

Originally published 12:30 p.m., March 21, 2016
Updated 2:38 p.m., March 21, 2016

Plains Suffers Legal Setback

Federal judge rules oil workers may seek further legal compensation. Read story.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Plains Personnel Didn't Break the Rules

Grand Jury report exonerates them of overstepping their bounds. Read story.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

County Issues Emergency Permit to Truck Stranded Oil

Las Flores Canyon tanks have sat idle since the Refugio Oil Spill. Read story.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016
event calendar sponsored by: