ORANGE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA — Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley released a statement in response to the news of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s proposal to fine Amplify Energy $3.4 million for safety violations from the 2021 OC Oil Spill. Notably, Amplify Energy ignored 83 alarms, signaling the offshore pipeline’s leak and failed to notify federal authorities or shut down the pipeline until 17 hours after the first alarms.
“This fine is frankly a drop in the bucket for Amplify Energy, who just reported one week ago a net income of $352.8 million in the first quarter of 2023,” said Supervisor Foley. “It’s simple – Amplify failed to notify appropriate authorities of the leak and deliberately hid those facts from the public. If I had my way, we would fine them at least ten times that amount. We need to do more in the future to hold companies like Amplify accountable and not simply slap them on the wrist.”
When Amplify Energy’s pipeline leaked approximately 25,000 gallons of petroleum in Huntington Beach in October 2021, Supervisor Foley spearheaded ocean clean up and accountability efforts for Amplify Energy as well as the shipping companies whose anchors struck the pipeline, causing the leak. She stood next to and challenged Amplify representatives at press conferences when they consistently misled the public about what they knew and when.
Supervisor Foley consistently worked with elected officials and agencies across all levels of government to keep members of the public informed on developments. Supervisor Foley joined representatives for an aerial tour and update by the U.S. Coast Guard where the oil appeared to move south toward Laguna Beach. Supervisor Foley worked with Orange County Public Works to clean up and protect County wetlands like Bolsa Chica and Talbert Marsh. When concerns grew about oil moving towards Laguna Beach, she kept local elected officials updated. Due to the cooperation with local jurisdictions, Newport Beach and Dana Point Harbors re-opened shortly after the initial pipeline leak.
In September 2022, Supervisor Foley joined California Attorney General Rob Bonta , Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer, State Senator Dave Min, Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris, and California Department of Fish and Wildlife for a press conference to announce the charges against Amplify Energy, Beta Operating Company, and San Pedro Bay Pipeline and the largest state misdemeanor criminal fine in Orange County history. Amplify pled no contest to six misdemeanor charges, resulting in $4.9 million in fines and penalties to the state and Orange County. Following the settlements, the County received reimbursements for cleanup efforts.
Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley was elected to the Board of Supervisors in 2022 to represent the newly established District 5, which includes the cities of Aliso Viejo, Costa Mesa, Dana Point, a large portion of Irvine, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Newport Beach, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, as well as the unincorporated areas of Coto de Caza, Emerald Bay, Ladera Ranch, Las Flores, Rancho Mission Viejo, Stonecliffe and Wagon Wheel. This is her second term on the Board of Supervisors, where she previously served District 2.
Supervisor Foley’s Board appointments include the Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA), OCFA Legislation & Public Affairs Committee Chair, Orange County Transportation Authority, Transportation Corridor Agency (TCA), TCA Joint Environmental Committee, Coastal Greenbelt Authority, Newport Bay and South Orange County Watershed Executive Committees, Ocean Institute, San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) Community Engagement Panel, Spent Fuel Solutions Coalition Co-Chair, Law Library Board of Trustees, Orange County Housing Finance Trust, Local Agency Formation Commission (alt), Orange County Juvenile Justice Coordinating Council, and OC Public Libraries Advisory Board.