Delay after alarm puts California spill response in question

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Amplify Energy’s emergency response plan for a major oil spill like the one unfolding in coastal Southern California depended heavily on a quick shutdown of its pipeline if sensors pick up a sudden loss of pressure. Federal investigators said Tuesday that’s not what happened. They say the Houston-based company waited more than three hours to shut down the pipeline after getting a low-pressure alarm early Saturday. The alarms also are supposed to trigger immediate follow-up actions to quickly ascertain if anything is wrong. It’s uncertain why that process dragged out hours in San Pedro Bay, potentially worsening the spill.

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