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Environmental Defense Fund
Santa Barbara oil pipeline leak rekindles memories of 1969 disaster
Santa Barbara oil pipeline leak rekindles memories of 1969 disaster

It was a scene that generations of people on the Santa Barbara coast have dreaded: Cleanup workers in white protective suits combing tar-splattered beaches, hoping to contain the damage from a crude oil spill. Nearly 50 years ago, a blowout on an offshore oil platform spewed more than 3 million gallons of oil into the Santa Barbara Channel and devastated the coastline, killing thousands of seabirds and galvanizing the U.S. environmental movement. The spill that occurred Tuesday when a pipeline ruptured near U.S. 101 was far smaller — up to 105,000 gallons. But the incident gave rise to similar anger and frustration on the part of residents and environmentalists who have long feared...

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