New California pipeline safety bill signed

California Governor Jerry Brown has signed new bills aimed at preventing pipeline spills, in the wake of a pipeline rupture near Santa Barbara earlier this year.

Brown said he signed the bills “in order to more fully protect our inland and coastal communities and environments from the harm of oil spills.”

The governor acted to require the state fire marshal to annually inspect all intrastate pipelines under its jurisdiction by approving SB 295.

The 19 May spill at Refugio State Beach involved a section of corroded pipeline that was being inspected every other year.

Brown also approved a bill, AB 864, requiring oil pipelines in environmentally sensitive areas be fitted with remote leak detectors and automatic shut-off valves.

A third bill, SB 414, seeks to speed response to spills by enlisting commercial fisherman and other boat operators to help contain leaks in their area. They would be outfitted with containment gear.

SB 414 will make oil spill response faster and more effective.

Edited from various sources by Elizabeth Corner

Sources: Los Angeles TimesPacific Coast Business Times

Published on 09/10/2015

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