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

Top Brass Testifies in Refugio Oil Spill Trial

Plains CEO Gregory Armstrong said seeing spill made him sick to his stomach. Read story.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Refugio Oil Spill Focus of Criminal Trial

Open arguments were presented Monday on the pipeline rupture. Read story.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Thousands of Plaintiffs Added to Refugio Oil Spill Case

Litigation follows footsteps of 1969 Union Oil spill attorneys. Read story.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Nearly Three Years After Refugio Oil Spill, Plains All American Trial Begins

Pipeline company faces 15 criminal counts from the 2015 spill. Read story.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Santa Barbara Filmmaker Creates 2015 Refugio Oil Spill Documentary

Gail Osherenko's online fundraiser is on track to raise $12,000. Read story.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Trial Date Set in Refugio Oil Spill Criminal Case

Plains All-American Pipeline faces four felony and 42 misdemeanor charges. Read story.

Friday, November 3, 2017

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
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