Company responsible for O.C. oil spill gets permission to repair pipeline
A company with ties to the president has been granted permission to repair a ruptured pipeline that led to the 2011 O.C. oil spill.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Friday granted a permit to the Atlantic Richfield Co. to repair a leaking pipeline at North River. Under the plan, Atlantic Richfield will repair the leak, replacing pipeline along the river that was damaged by an explosion and fire.
But as the company began work on Friday, questions have been raised on how much of a permanent fix will be made.
After the state Department of Environmental Quality issued an order in July to suspend repairs to the line, Atlantic Richfield is in the process of getting a federal permit for work on the pipeline.
The permit is for about $6 million to repair a pipeline that was damaged by an explosion and fire at the company’s North River oil platform on July 4, 2011.
In late August, the DEQ released an order saying Atlantic Richfield must make certain repairs to the pipeline. The order includes making permanent repairs, including replacing the deteriorated pipeline with a new one.
“If the state can’t do that, then the company can’t do what it wants,” said Andrew McDonough, DEQ’s director of oil and gas enforcement.
But as Atlantic Richfield is attempting to repair the line, it is considering the option of getting permits from the DEQ, as well as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said David M. Brown, president of U.S. Xpress Energy Resources, a North Dakota-based oil and gas company that has close ties to the Obama administration.
“There are a number of options that are being considered,” Mr. Brown said.
U.S. Xpress, which is based in Houston, Texas, and is the parent company