Monday, April 23 , 2018, 11:30 am | Overcast 60º


Local News

Santa Barbara County Grants ExxonMobil Emergency Permit to Truck Oil from Storage Tanks

An emergency permit was granted to ExxonMobil Monday allowing the company to temporarily truck oil from a storage facility on the Gaviota Coast in southern Santa Barbara County.

ExxonMobil was granted the permit by Santa Barbara County planner Dianne Black, and the permit will allow the company to truck oil from storage tanks located in Las Flores Canyon to Santa Maria and Maricopa.

The decision is not subject to appeal.

The oil has been sitting in the storage tanks in the wake of the May 19 Refugio Oil Spill, when a Plains All American Pipeline ruptured and sent up to 141,000 gallons of crude oil onto the coastline and into the ocean. 

The ruptured Line 901 was found to be badly corroded, and authorities ordered Plains to also shut down Line 903, which carries processed crude oil north through Santa Barbara County to refineries in other areas.

Several companies used the impacted pipelines to move crude oil from offshore oil platforms to processing and refining facilities, including ExxonMobil, Venoco, Inc. and Freeport-McMoRan.

ExxonMobil applied for the emergency permit in early January.

A press release issued Monday from the County of Santa Barbara stated that the approval is limited to trucking about 425,000 barrels of oil that currently sit in two storage tanks at the ExxonMobil facility, “to mitigate the risks associated with long term storage of oil since the pipeline is expected to be inoperable for a prolonged period of time, in excess of at least six months.”

The emergency permit does not authorize refilling the tanks from any source, the statement said.

The oil company is expected to begin trucking operations within three weeks, following installation of minor truck loading improvements at the Las Flores Canyon facility, the release said.

“Trucking to empty the tanks is expected to take three to six months, with no more than 30 truck trips a day,” the county stated.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper 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.

  • 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 >

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 through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Maestro, Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover, Debit

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 >