Criminal charges possible in California oil spill

Jun 4, 2015 9:01 PM by News Staff, Photo: Michael Nelson / MGN

LOS ANGELES (AP) - California Attorney General Kamala Harris toured the site of an oil pipeline rupture that spilled over 100,000 gallons of crude on the Santa Barbara coast.

Harris said Thursday that she was troubled by the latest report that a test shortly before the spill revealed serious wear in the pipe. She said criminal charges were possible.

Federal regulators say an examination indicates more than 80 percent of the pipe had worn down at the point of the break, much more than the earlier test indicated.

The new finding does not pinpoint the cause of the May 19 rupture, but it exposes possible short-comings with the technology used to gauge pipe reliability and with those who analyze the results.

The spill blackened popular beaches and created a 9-mile slick in the Pacific Ocean.

Federal, state and local prosecutors are investigating the spill.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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