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were they napping?

The Environment

In an enforcement order released Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s pipeline regulator said that the operator of the ruptured crude line off Orange County had indication¬†of a breach several hours before it shut down the line or reported a potential spill.

At about 0230 hours on Saturday morning, the control room personnel for operator Beta Offshore received a low pressure alarm on the San Pedro Bay Pipeline, an indication of a potential breach. According to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), Beta Offshore reported that the line was shut down at 0601 – more than three hours after the alarm.

Beta Offshore did not report the possibility of a breach to the U.S. Coast Guard’s National Response Center (NRC) until 0907, more than six hours after the first alarm. Read on.