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.
  • STATUS OF RESTORATION: Final Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan completed; restoration projects now in progress; see the Plan and News Updates below for details.

Available Documents

Refugio Beach Oil Spill Settlement – South Coast Shoreline Parks and Outdoor Recreation Grants Program

Refugio Beach Oil Spill Settlement Restoration Plan

Final Refugio Beach Oil Spill Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan/Environmental Assessment (PDF)(opens in new tab)

Draft Refugio Beach Oil Spill Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan/Environmental Assessment (PDF)(opens in new tab)


Public Meetings

Virtual Public Meeting, May 13, 2020

In Person Public Meeting (Santa Barbara Public Library) on January 20, 2016

State Documents

Federal Documents and Administrative Record

External References


Michael Anderson
Phone: (916) 375-6672

Office of Spill Prevention and Response
Mailing: P.O. Box 944209, Sacramento, CA 94244-2090
(916) 375-8580 for OSPR Information

Report Oil Spills
(800) 852-7550 or (800) OILS-911

Email OSPR | Office Locations

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