CAMARILLO, Calif. - Federal Officials issued the latest on the investigation into an oil spill in California's Central Coast last year.
Federal officials say Plains All-American Pipeline could be fined or prosecuted for failing to prevent the 140,000 spill and not responding to it quickly enough.
Dr. Sean Anderson, an associate professor of Environmental Science and Resource Management at California State University-Channel Islands, has spent many years researching oil spills.
Anderson says there much of the spill and how it happened hasn't been disclosed.
"That's part of the whole lawsuit that's going to go on. The amount of oil, the number of gallons released will determine how much they'll have to pay," said Professor Anderson.
Corrosion can occur when a pipe is exposed to certain elements. Through time, a pipe can rust and layers of its exterior peels off.
In the case of the 2015 oil spill, Anderson says the pipe was severely deteriorated and its weakest part was thin as a piece of paper.
"This pipeline was not instrumented with the type of sensors that a lot of us would expect in this type of situation. So that's the most interesting nut of this. It was turned off which is great and we're happy, but it wasn't some super effective bureaucracy control system that was on it," said Anderson.