Pixel Tracker

Monday, February 18 , 2019, 11:43 am | Fair 55º


County Supervisors Approve First Reading of Oil Pipeline Agreement for Venoco

Next week's public meeting the last step before the company can begin operations

If approved by the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors at next week’s public hearing, Venoco Inc. will immediately gain permission to operate an 8.5-mile pipeline to transport crude oil from the Ellwood Onshore Facility to a pipeline system in Gaviota.

Supervisors approved the first reading of the franchise agreement at Tuesday’s meeting, and a full public hearing is scheduled for next Tuesday, Feb. 14.

The 6-inch pipeline would eliminate the last oil barging operation off the county’s coastline and have oil bypass the Ellwood Marine Terminal, which would then be decommissioned and cleaned. Venoco currently uses the barges to transport oil from there to Los Angeles or as far north as San Francisco refineries.

Venoco would pay the county right-of-way franchise fees for a 20-year agreement, and at the end of it the county can seize the pipes, leave them or make Venoco remove them, according to county General Services Director Bob Nisbet.

He said the county Planning Commission approved the pipeline construction and certified the environmental impact report last summer.

The EIR called the pipeline environmentally superior, and county officials say it could reduce air emissions.

Environmental groups have been working to get rid of the barging operations for 14 years, and the pipeline would eliminate the risk of offshore oil spills, Environmental Defense Center counsel Linda Krop said at Tuesday’s meeting.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Talk to Us!

Please take Noozhawk's audience survey to help us understand what you expect — and want — from us. It'll take you just a few minutes. Thank you!

Get Started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >