MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company confirms it has accepted a proposal to jointly fund a settlement with claimants relating to the 2021 Orange County pipeline oil spill. Additional terms of a formal settlement are still being negotiated and once reached will have to be approved by the Court. MSC looks forward to demonstrating in the continuing legal proceedings that the responsibility for the 2021 oil spill remains the responsibility of Amplify, the pipeline owner, who already has plead guilty to criminal negligence for the oil spill.
Experts involved in the analysis and reconstruction of key events which led up to the oil spill have determined that the MSC DANIT maneuvered in a reasonable and prudent manner despite adverse weather and intense marine traffic in January 2021, when it is believed that the pipeline was first damaged. Moreover, the MSC DANIT took appropriate actions while at anchor and maintained constant communication with the U.S. Coast Guard and port authorities off the coast of California.
MSC’s investigation has revealed that the pipeline did not comply with its original permit to be built sufficiently away from the federal anchorage zone in which the MSC DANIT and other ships were anchored, and that the negligent conduct of Amplify Energy including its repeated failure to take reasonable preventative steps to better protect its pipeline and detect latent damage was the true cause of the oil spill. Despite becoming aware of increased marine traffic and activity near its pipeline past 2020, Amplify took no measures to mitigate the risk to their pipeline before, during or after January 2021, all of which led to an unnecessary pollution event in Southern California waters and beaches. These facts compelled Amplify to pled guilty to federal and state criminal charges for its discharge of the oil caused by its failure to properly detect and respond to the oil spill.
MSC nonetheless agreed to jointly fund a settlement for the claimants in order to move forward in a constructive and positive manner following this incident. MSC, as the largest ocean carrier in the world, recognizes the company’s pivotal role as a steward of our world’s oceans. Moreover, MSC is committed to bringing measurable benefits to businesses and communities around the world and remains dedicated to supporting the coastal communities of Southern, California.
We’re proud to support people, infrastructure, economies, and the environment across all our regional and international trade routes, providing the foundation for global trade and keeping our customers’ cargo flowing. It is our mission to provide the foundation for global trade and to foster the growth of international commerce. MSC first began serving the USA in 1985, and since then we have grown our services with ships calling at 21 U.S. ports. MSC looks forward to continuing to do so for many years to come.