Update 12:45 p.m.: Data shows pipeline accidents have shot up 60 percent since 2009
The oil pipeline leak that fouled a stretch of California coastline this week reflects a troubling trend in the nation's infrastructure: As U.S. oil production has soared, so has the number of pipeline accidents.
An analysis of federal data by the Associated Press shows that since 2009, the annual number of significant accidents on oil and petroleum pipelines has shot up by almost 60 percent, roughly matching the rise in U.S. crude oil production.
Nearly two-thirds of the leaks during that time have been linked to corrosion or material, welding and equipment failures. Those problems are often associated with older pipelines, although they also can occur in newer ones, too.
Other leaks were blamed on natural disasters or human error, such as a backhoe striking a pipeline.
— the Associated Press
Update 9:50 a.m.: Regulators order pipeline testing, other steps after spill
Federal regulators have ordered the company whose pipeline spilled thousands of gallons of oil across a California coastline to take a series of steps before it can restart the line.
The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration announced a so-called corrective action against Plains All American Pipeline on Friday.
The order requires the company to remove the damaged section of pipe, test it and empty the remainder of the line.
The agency says it still does not know the cause of the leak, which spilled up to 105,000 gallons of crude into a coastal ditch Tuesday. Thousands of gallons flowed into the sea northwest of Santa Barbara.
— the Associated Press
Update 8:00 a.m.: Oil spill still in 'response and recovery stage'
In a press conference Thursday night, Rick Michael with Plains All American Pipeline said that it's still in response and recovery mode. "Spill recoveries happen in stages," he said. "We're still what you call in the response and recovery stage."
So far, a total of 59 bins have been filled with contaminated soil. Six oiled pelicans have been moved to the Department of Fish and Wildlife's San Pedro facility for cleaning. An oiled juvenile sea lion is being rehabilitated as well.
Michael Ziccardi, director of Oiled Wildlife Care Network, reiterated that only trained teams should collect wildlife.
"The general public may want to help but the fact is trying to capture oiled animals by people who don't have the training is dangerous both to the animal as well as to the people," he said. "So we encourage people, if they are seeing animals, to continue to call in to our wildlife hotline."
— KPCC staff
Dead animals turning up after Santa Barbara oil spill
An octopus lies dead on an oil-covered beach after an oil spill near Refugio State Beach. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)