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Chairs DeFazio, Carbajal, and Payne, Jr. Statements on Critical Federal Steps Taken Following Oil Spill in Southern California

October 08, 2021

Washington, D.C. — Chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Chair of the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Salud Carbajal (D-CA), and Chair of the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials Donald M. Payne, Jr. (D-NJ) issued the following statements on the critical steps taken by the federal government following an oil spill off the coast of Southern California:

“The recent oil spill in Southern California has caused severe damage to the environment and surrounding communities that will take years to repair. Unfortunately, hours went by before the pipeline operator shut down the line and notified the National Response Center of the accident, causing irreparable harm,” Chair DeFazio said. “Thankfully, multiple federal agencies reacted promptly, with the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration quickly issuing a Corrective Action Order requiring a thorough review and response and prohibiting the pipeline from restarting without approval from the agency. As we learn more from this ongoing investigation, we must ensure responsible parties are held accountable”

“This week’s oil spill is just another example of a preventable tragedy that has grave consequences for our health, safety, environment, and economy,” Chair Carbajal said. “While the cause of the spill is still under investigation, it is possible the supply chain delays that resulted in a record 97-vessel backlog offshore of the Ports of Los Angeles/Long Beach on September 19th may have brought containerships close to the pipeline. As the Chair of the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, I am deeply concerned with reports indicating the spill may have been caused by a vessel’s anchor, and I will track this incident closely to ensure that investigative and response efforts are conducted appropriately. It is vital that we hold responsible parties accountable and work to prevent future spills to protect our coast from preventable harm and destruction.”

“The spill in Southern California is extremely concerning to me and I am closely monitoring the situation to ensure there is no further damage to the environment,” Chair Payne, Jr. said. “It is important that federal and local authorities cooperate to remediate the disaster quickly and prevent any further damage. As Chair of the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials, I am committed to the safety and security of all pipelines under the jurisdiction of the Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA). I applaud PHMSA for their quick response in issuing a Corrective Action Order and will hold responsible parties accountable for this disaster.”


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