Energy & Environment

Environmental activists planning to sue federal government over California oil spill

Environmental activists are planning to sue the federal government over its failure to review and update plans for platforms off the coast a month after a more than 25,000-gallon California oil spill. 

The Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) said Tuesday that it had sent a notice to the secretary of the Interior on its intent to sue the government for “allowing Platform Elly and other offshore oil production in the Beta oilfield to operate under outdated drilling plans written in the 1970s and ‘80s.”

The group also said the government had approved plans for cluster oil drill platforms in the 1980s, which are still running even though production was supposed to wind down in 2007.

“The oil industry is drilling and spilling off California’s coast under plans written when Carter and Reagan were in the White House and floppy disks were high tech,” CBD Oceans program legal director Kristen Monsell said in a statement. 

“These incredibly outdated documents highlight the federal government’s reckless, contemptible refusal to protect our beaches, wildlife and communities from offshore drilling pollution,” she continued. “Retro is not a good look for those ominous oil platforms, which should be shut down entirely.”

The group’s notice comes a month after the Houston-based Amplify Energy pipeline leaked at least 25,000 gallons of crude oil into the ocean off the coast of Orange County, Calif., according to The Associated Press. 

The spill led to blobs of oil washing ashore and a week-long shut down of Huntington Beach, the AP reported. 

CBD oceans director Miyoko Sakashita told the newswire that under federal law, the government is required to review oil development and production plans for leases in federal water and revise them in repose to changing conditions and activities. 

“It is not lawful for them to just continue on with these really old development and production plans,” Sakashita told the AP. 

“It’s particularly notable in this instance where we’ve now had this oil spill. The infrastructure is aging and things need to be done differently,” Sakashita added.

Tags California California oil spill Orange County

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