California oil drilling site under fire

ASSOCIATED PRESS: Regulators are scrutinizing one of the state’s earliest offshore oil drilling sites due to corroded equipment.

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The Department of Conservation focused its renewed enforcement efforts on a facility with ties to an oil company with a long history of spills that allowed man-made Rincon Island wells to fall into disrepair near a popular surf spot on the Southern California coast.

“The number of long-term idle wells at this site in the marine environment is of great concern,” said Ken Harris, supervisor of the Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources known as DOGGR. “The operator has failed to maintain the facility to regulatory standards.”

The action aimed at Rincon Island Limited Partnership comes as the state agency tries to take a more proactive approach to regulating the industry after acknowledging shortcomings for what critics have said was a longtime lack of oversight that has led to pollution and other problems.

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