Company responsible for O.C. oil spill gets permission to repair pipeline
Updated 11:35 a.m.
The city of Oceanside is moving ahead with plans to repair a section of the San Joaquin pipeline that leaked crude oil last month.
City officials filed a permit request today with the California Department of Toxic Substances Control after it rejected a petition by the company building the pipeline to do so. The company has until April 11 to file a response to the permit request.
Oceanside officials said today that they’re expecting the permit to be approved. If the permit is approved, the city will move forward with the repairs to the pipeline.
Officials are working with the state agency to ensure the repairs do not harm the nearby beaches and oceanside environment. The city is also working with other agencies on a clean-up plan and a way to monitor the pipeline’s progress.
“We are prepared for whatever may be required and are working diligently to make sure the pipeline is repaired and safe for the public,” Police Chief George Fernandez said in a letter to Oceanside residents and others Tuesday.
A day earlier, Oceanside Mayor Bob Martin said he believes the city is close to securing a permit.
“We are confident we will be able to address all issues pertaining to the pipeline,” Martin said in a statement Tuesday. “In addition to the City staff and contractor, numerous agencies have been working with our community and the Department of Toxic Substances Control to address the situation. We believe we have received clear and concise guidance from the Department and believe we will be able to fully utilize their resources.
The Department of Toxic Substances Control is in the initial stages of evaluating the pipeline, which was built by Shell in 2010 and put into operation in early 2012, after it was built by the same contractor that built the pipeline in the mid-1970s. The San Joaquin pipeline is nearly 50 miles long and is the only connection between the San Joaquin River Valley and Los Angeles County. It supplies 30% of Oceanside’s water.
The pipeline has had several setbacks over the years, including leaks this year.