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People vs Plains All-American Pipeline

Attorneys for both sides of the Plains All American Pipeline criminal case spent less than an hour in Santa Barbara Superior Court Thursday, hoping to tackle a handful of (995) motions.

It quickly became evident that the matter would take much longer than the hour Judge Jean Dandona had set aside.

The first 40 minutes were taken up with a ‘wildlife motion,’ and two attorneys arguing about the legalities, definitions and differences between the words “kill” and “take.”

The number of wildlife harmed by the 2015 oil spill at Refugio State Beach included 221 birds and 142 mammals.

James Buchanan, an environmental and regulatory specialist with Plains, is the only employee named in the 46 count indictment, which was handed down earlier this year by a Santa Barbara Grand jury. Buchanan was in court, although he was not required to be present because he faces a misdemeanor, not a felony.

Meanwhile, The Court is considering a motion filed weeks ago for a change of venue.

NewsChannel 3 reached out to Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley regarding the matter.

“I continue to hope that the trial will take place in Santa Barbara county so that the aggrieved parties, the People of Santa Barbara county, have the ability to attend any and all proceedings,” Dudley wrote.

Judge Dandona rescheduled Thursday’s hearing for December 22 at 9:00 a.m.

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