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Over 330 Violations Found on Oil Platforms in Santa Barbara Channel in Past 6 Years
With the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico earlier this year -- even 16 miles of oil coming ashore in Louisiana this past weekend -- a closer and more critical eye is being kept on the industry across the country. Northwest of Los Angeles are 20 oil drilling platforms in the Santa Barbara Channel, which over the past six years have seen more than 1,200 government inspections. According to an investigation by the Ventura County Star, those inspections resulted in identifying around 330 violations, mostly due to human error or mechanical failure. In the past decade, there have been 29 accidents causing fire, pollution or injury.
The company with the most violations -- 92 to be exact -- between 2006 and 2010 was Pacific Operators which operates two platforms. Other companies found with violations included PXP (87 violations, four platforms), ExxonMobil (64 violations, three platforms), DCOR (58 violations, nine platforms) and Venoco (32 violations, two platforms).
But not all violations are created equal. Pacific Operators, which did not have any accidents in that time period that created large fines, was written up for violations ranging from "improperly labeled life vests to more serious ones, including issues of leaking pipes, bypassed safety devices and failed leak tests."
Previously: Who's Watching the Oil Industry in Los Angeles?