Sixteen spills from oil pipelines have leaked a combined 2.4 million gallons of crude oil into waterways in California and other states in recent years, posing health and injury risks to pipeline workers and residents in the areas, according to an article from The Associated Press. The San Diego injury attorneys at the Jurewitz Law Group follow such cases closely, because the injury risks associated with them can be long-reaching and long-lasting.
Since 1993, regulators have paid careful attention to pipeline spills in multiple states, including California. One particular source of concern comes from pipelines that are buried under navigable waterways, like rivers and streams. These pipelines are required to be buried only four feet under the waterway and are required to be inspected for weaknesses only once every five years. If a pipeline near water breaks, leaking oil and other materials can easily contaminate drinking water supplies, posing serious health hazards for those in the area.
Of the estimated 2.4 million gallons of crude oil lost in pipeline spills in recent years, only about 300,000 gallons have been recovered. The remaining oil has seeped into waterways, soil, and other areas, increasing the risk of health hazards to residents, workers, and visitors, as well as the risk of damage to livestock, crops, and wildlife. So far, the combined total losses in such spills have topped $200 million, according to investigators.
Health hazards from oil or chemical spills can be difficult to pinpoint, especially when a spill took place several months or years in the past. An experienced southern California personal injury attorney can help you trace the causes of your injuries and create a plan for pursuing the compensation you need.