California Oil Spill

Workers in protective suits continue to clean the contaminated beach with a platform in the background in Huntington Beach, Calif., on Oct. 11, 2021. A pipeline operator and two subsidiaries have agreed to plead guilty to negligently discharging oil off the Southern California coast in connection with a pipeline break that covered beaches with blobs of crude.

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A pipeline operator and two subsidiaries agreed Friday to plead guilty to negligently discharging oil off the Southern California coast in connection with a pipeline break that covered beaches with blobs of crude.

The U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles said in a statement that Houston-based Amplify Energy and two subsidiaries agreed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor and pay a $7 million fine and nearly $6 million in expenses incurred by government entities, including the U.S. Coast Guard. The companies would also install a new leak detection system for pipeline and train employees to identify and respond to potential leaks, the statement said.

“Our nation’s environmental laws are designed to protect our communities and oceans from hazardous pollutants, including oil,” said Scot Adair, special agent in charge of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s criminal investigation division in California. “Amplify Energy’s agreement to plead guilty today demonstrates that companies that negligently violate those laws will be held responsible for their crimes.”

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