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Santa Barbara Spill Raises Concerns Over Patchwork of Pipeline Oversight

Michael A. Mariant / AP

Crews in boats collect oil contained in booms at Refugio State Beach, north of Goleta, Calif., Wednesday, May 20, 2015.

Michael A. Mariant / AP

Steven Cuevas | The California Report

U.S Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein described the response to the oil spill just north of Santa Barbara as "insufficient." They also wanted to know whether federal regulators could have required the Plains All-American Pipeline to install an automatic shut-off valve. The pipeline and others like it in California are monitored by a complex and sometimes confusing patchwork of agencies and inspectors.