Orange County’s regulator has accepted a nearly $1 million settlement to cover costs of cleaning up an Oct. 2 oil spill in Huntington Beach.
In a 4-1 vote on Wednesday, regulators voted to accept a $956,352 payout from Amplify Energy, the company that owned the oil rig that dumped over 25,000 gallons of crude oil into Huntington Beach waters last year.
Supervisor Katrina Foley said the settlement was a “win for taxpayers”.
“We’re grateful that we resolved it in a relatively short amount of time and reimbursed the county for every dollar spent, including attorneys’ fees and costs,” Foley told The Times. “I am satisfied with the result.”
Foley said the lawsuit, which was filed earlier this year, was settled much earlier than expected. She said the city of Huntington Beach has also filed a separate lawsuit, which is still pending.
Andrew Do was the only supervisor who voted against the settlement, saying the county could potentially be held liable for further unfunded expenses in the future.
“Getting $900,000 or even $1 million for potential claims in the future is peanuts,” Do told City News Service. “If we have lawsuits in the future and can’t go to Amplify to recover, then $1 million in legal fees will be gone in six months… Until we see more clearly the number of claims, but also the nature of the claims, We also have to keep in mind that we may have claims that may not materialize in the coming years.”
Federal investigators and the U.S. Coast Guard estimated the October oil spill reached over 8,300 acres of the ocean’s surface, caused by a pipeline damaged by a ship’s anchor most likely belonging to a caravan of cargo ships secured outside the port of for several months Los Angeles Long Beach.
https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-07-28/orange-county-supervisors-approve-settlement-in-huntington-beach-oil-spill Huntington Beach oil spill: $1-million settlement approved