Criminal Charges in Oil Spill

Crimson Pipeline Management caused a 2010 oil spill and failed to report it in a timely manner.

A Long Beach pipeline company is facing criminal charges in relation to an oil spill that authorities said contaminated the Dominguez Channel and the water at the Port of Los Angeles.

L.A. City Attorney Carmen Trutanich said that Crimson Pipeline Management allowed oil to seep from its Wilmington pipeline into the Los Angeles storm drain system and eventually into the ocean.

The company caused and allowed “the discharge of large quantities of oil into the City’s storm drain system, which led into the waters of the Dominguez Channel and the Port of Los Angeles,” Trutanich said in a press release.

In addition, he said, the company did not report the spill in a timely manner.

A call to Crimson Pipeline president Larry Alexander was not immediately returned on Friday.

The criminal complaint, filed Thursday, contained 61 allegations against the company and others.

The spill occurred during a major storm about a year ago, on Dec. 21, 2010, the city said. Investigators sampled the oil that had been released and were able to identify its “hydrocarbon fingerprint,” Trutanich said. That fingerprint pointed to Crimson Pipeline, he said.

Since the spill, the state Department of Fish and Game and the Los Angeles Watershed Protection Division have recovered more than 1,000 gallons of oil and 290,000 gallons of contaminated wastewater, Trutanich said.

The leak was traced to a gash in the protective casing around the pipeline, and has since been repaired, he said.

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