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L.A. County Stepping Up Pipeline Safety Recommended by Supervisor Hahn 

Staff Report

Los Angeles, CA– Today, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved new conditions recommended by Supervisor Janice Hahn to Chevron’s continued operation of oil pipelines in LA County. These new conditions are part of a larger effort by Hahn to improve pipeline safety and prevent pipeline leaks in LA County communities.

As a result of the revised ordinance passed today, Chevron will have one year to inspect all of its pipelines in LA County and prove that it is following all pertaining regulations.  This includes the federal regulations that require inactive pipelines not be mislabeled as “idle,” but be properly drained and capped.  If Chevron fails to inspect every pipeline or follow regulations, their franchise agreement will be terminated.

Labeling pipelines as “idle” is an industry practice used to avoid the official process of labeling pipelines as abandoned and creates a regulatory loophole that prevents the pipelines from being regularly inspected.A pipeline misclassified as “idle” erupted in 2014 in a Wilmington neighborhood, sending 1,200 gallons of oil into residents’ yards and sparking then-Congresswoman Hahn to push for better federal enforcement.

“I was dismayed when I found out that pipelines in LA County continue to be mislabeled as ‘idle’ when we know the risk this poses to communities,” said Supervisor Hahn. “From now on, if pipeline companies want to operate in LA County they will have to prove they are following every rule that has been put in place to keep our communities safe.”

The revised ordinance also instructs the County CEO’s office, County Counsel, the Department of Public Works, and the existing Oil and Gas Strike Team to develop a pipeline inspection and safety plan for county pipelines. This team will report back to the Board in 90 days.