Santa Barbara County rejected an emergency application from ExxonMobil on Monday to transport oil using a fleet of tanker trucks after a crude spill last month shutdown a major pipeline.

According to LA Times, county officials shot down a plan that called for Exxon to deploy up to eight trucks per hour on Highway 101, 24 hours per day and seven days per week.

The fleet would have moved oil from the company’s facility near El Capitan State Beach to facilities in other parts of California.

Exxon has been forced to curb daily production from three offshore platforms after Line 901 ruptured on May 19, spilling an estimated 101,000 gallons of crude near Refugio State Beach.

Line 901, along with Line 903, have been shutdown since the spill.

The shutdowns have promoted Exxon to store crude in tanks near its Santa Ynez Unit, the LA Times said.

Exxon told county officials it would have to halt oil and gas production if it runs out of storage space, a move that could potentially stop deliveries to Southern California Gas Co.

County officials were unpersuaded and said there was no evidence that Southern California Gas would be unable to provide service if Exxon halted production.

Assistant director of planning and development for Santa Barbara County Dianne Black said in her rejection that Exxon’s evidence “does not support a finding that an emergency exists,” according to the LA Times.

Exxon can not appeal the decision, but the company can apply for a non-emergency permit.

An Exxon spokesperson told the LA Times the company is reviewing the decision and exploring its options.


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