SACRAMENTO – Two bills authored by Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) in response to this year’s Refugio Oil Spill in Santa Barbara County passed out of the Legislature and are on their way to the Governor’s desk.
Jackson’s Senate Bill 295 requires annual oil pipeline inspections by the State Fire Marshal. Previously, pipeline inspections had been done every two or more years. The bill passed off the Senate floor this week on bipartisan, 27-9 vote.
“I do believe that if the pipeline that ruptured had been inspected annually, they would have detected the corrosion that led to the Refugio Oil Spill and we would have been able to prevent it,” said Jackson. “Previously, we had largely planned and prepared for oil spills that start offshore. This helps us prevent spills that could start onshore.”
Jackson’s Senate Bill 414, the Rapid Oil Response Act, seeks to make oil spill response faster and more effective. This bill: 1) Directs the Office of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR) to report to the Legislature on how to best utilize commercial fishing vessels and crews in response to an oil spill 2) Requires OSPR to notify the Legislature within three days if dispersants are used in response to an oil spill. It also requires a follow-up study on negative impacts that the use of dispersants have had, and 3) Requires OSPR to study the best achievable technology for oil spill clean-up and use that technology to respond to spills, among other things. The vote on the Senate floor was 26-13.
“Both of these bills represent an important step forward for our beautiful coastline, which is a huge contributor to our economy through our tourism and fishing industries,” said Jackson. “Together, these bills improve oversight and deepen our knowledge of how to respond quickly and effectively to spills should they occur.”
The Governor has until October 11 to take action on these measures.
Lisa Gardiner (916) 651-4019 or firstname.lastname@example.org