A Texas oil company was given permission to fix an underwater pipeline that broke off the coast of Southern California a year ago, spilling tens of thousands of gallons of crude oil and forcing beaches and fisheries to close.

Amplify Energy Corp. got approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Friday. This means that the old pipeline that burst a few months ago can now be fixed. The pipeline may have been damaged when ships’ anchors caught on it while they were drifting in a storm.

The leak on October 1, 2021 sent about 25,000 gallons of oil into the Pacific Ocean. For a week, miles of beaches were closed, fisheries were shut down for months, and birds and wetlands were covered in oil.

The approval to rebuild the pipe from an oil rig off Huntington Beach to tanks in Long Beach comes less than a month after Amplify pleaded guilty to federal charges of carelessly dumping oil. The Houston company and two of its subsidiaries also agreed to plead guilty in state court to killing birds and polluting the water.

Amplify said that the approval will let it take the broken pieces of pipe from the ocean floor and put new ones in their place.

After a barge is in place, the work could take up to a month, according to the estimate. After being fixed, the company said it hoped to start using it in the first quarter of 2023 if it passed a series of safety tests.

Environmentalists who want to shut down the pipeline criticized the decision to grant the permit and called for an end to oil drilling in the ocean.

“The Biden administration just ramped up the risk of yet another ugly oil spill on California’s beautiful coast,” said Brady Bradshaw of the Center for Biological Diversity. “Unfortunately, people living near offshore drilling infrastructure are all too familiar with this abusive cycle of drill, spill, repeat.”

The environmental group sued the federal government on Wednesday for letting the platform where the pipeline started to work even though old plans said it should have been shut down more than a decade ago. Even though there was a spill, the lawsuit also said that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management did not review the plan or ask for changes.

Amplify said that the spill wouldn’t have happened if two ships’ anchors hadn’t dragged across the pipeline during a storm in January 2021 and damaged it. It said that it didn’t know the anchor got stuck until after the oil spill.

Even though the size of the spill wasn’t as bad as was first thought, U.S. prosecutors said the company should have been able to shut off the damaged line much sooner if it had understood the seriousness of a series of leak-detection alarms that went off over a 13-hour period.

According to the federal plea agreement, the first alarm went off late in the afternoon of October 1, 2021 but workers mistook the cause for something else.

When the alarm went off throughout the night, workers shut down the pipeline to find out what was going on. When they found that the alarms were false, they turned the pipeline back on. That made more oil come out. The spill wasn’t found until after dawn when a boat found it, and the line was shut down.

As part of a deal with the federal court, the company and its subsidiaries agreed to pay a $7 million fine and nearly $6 million in costs incurred by agencies like the U.S. Coast Guard. They also agreed to install a new leak-detection system and train employees on how to find and fix possible leaks.

As part of a settlement, the company agreed to plead guilty to six state misdemeanor charges and pay $4.9 million in fines and penalties.

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