Cleanup crews at Refugio State Beach


  • LOCATION: Refugio and El Capitan State Beaches, Santa Barbara Channel, and portions of the southern California coastline south to the Los Angeles area.
  • DATE: May 19, 2015
  • INCIDENT SUMMARY: An underground pipeline running parallel to Highway 101 ruptured near Refugio State Beach, spilling over 123,000 gallons of crude oil, much of which ran down a ravine under the freeway and entered the ocean.
  • RESPONSIBLE PARTY: Plains All American Pipeline, L.P., and Plains Pipeline, L.P. (jointly, Plains)
  • NATURAL RESOURCE TRUSTEES: California Department of Fish and Wildlife; California Department of Parks and Recreation; California State Lands Commission; University of California; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; and the Department of Interior through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Park Service, and the Bureau of Land Management.
  • RESOURCES IMPACTED: Birds, marine mammals, fish, coastal and subtidal habitats, and human uses.
  • SETTLEMENT DETAILS: The trustees settled the NRDA portion of the case for $22 million. This includes $2.2 million for bird restoration, $2.3 million for marine mammal restoration, $5.5 million for shoreline habitat restoration, $6.1 for subtidal and fish habitat restoration, $3.9 million for human use and recreational improvements, and $2 million for administration and oversight.

Available Documents

Refugio Beach Oil Spill Trustee Council Virtual Public Meeting on May 13, 2020

Copies of meeting presentations (PDF):

Meeting Presentations


Written public comments on the Draft Refugio Beach Oil Spill Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan/Environmental Assessment will be accepted until June 8, 2020 and can be sent via electronic mail to or by U.S. mail to the address listed in the restoration plan.

Download a copy of the draft restoration plan here: link opens in new windowDraft Refugio Beach Oil Spill Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan/Environmental Assessment (PDF)

Administrative Record

External Links

Contact Information

Michael Anderson
Phone: (916) 375-6672

Last update : 1/26/2021 1:27:23 PM