California Government Code

Sec. § 8670.2

The Legislature finds and declares as follows:


Each year, billions of gallons of crude oil and petroleum products are transported by vessel, railroad, truck, or pipeline over, across, under, and through the waters of this state.


Recent accidents in southern California, Alaska, other parts of the nation, and Canada, have shown that transportation of oil can be a significant threat to the environment of sensitive areas.


Existing prevention programs are not able to reduce sufficiently the risk of significant discharge of petroleum into state waters.


Response and cleanup capabilities and technology are unable to remove consistently the majority of spilled oil when major oil spills occur in state waters.


California’s lakes, rivers, other inland waters, coastal waters, estuaries, bays, and beaches are treasured environmental and economic resources that the state cannot afford to place at undue risk from an oil spill.


Because of the inadequacy of existing cleanup and response measures and technology, the emphasis must be put on prevention, if the risk and consequences of oil spills are to be minimized.


Improvements in the design, construction, and operation of rail tank cars, tank trucks, tank ships, terminals, and pipelines; improvements in marine safety; maintenance of emergency response stations and personnel; and stronger inspection and enforcement efforts are necessary to reduce the risks of and from a major oil spill.


A major oil spill in state waters is extremely expensive because of the need to clean up discharged oil, protect sensitive environmental areas, and restore ecosystem damage.


Immediate action must be taken to improve control and cleanup technology in order to strengthen the capabilities and capacities of cleanup operations.


California government should improve its response and management of oil spills that occur in state waters.


Those who transport oil through or near the waters of the state must meet minimum safety standards and demonstrate financial responsibility.


The federal government plays an important role in preventing and responding to petroleum spills and it is in the interests of the state to coordinate with agencies of the federal government, including the Coast Guard and the United States Environmental Protection Agency, to the greatest degree possible.


California has approximately 1,100 miles of coast, including four marine sanctuaries that occupy 88,767 square miles. The weather, topography, and tidal currents in and around California’s coastal ports and waterways make vessel navigation challenging. The state’s major ports are among the busiest in the world. Approximately 700 million barrels of oil are consumed annually by California, with over 500 million barrels being transported by vessel. The peculiarities of California’s maritime coast require special precautionary measures regarding oil pollution.


California has approximately 158,500 square miles of interior area where there are approximately 6,800 miles of pipeline used for oil distribution, 5,800 miles of class I railroad track, and 172,100 miles of maintained roads.

Last accessed
Jun. 6, 2016