Environmental groups celebrated a landmark event in Santa Barbara County today.
The issuance of final operating permits for a new oil pipeline in Santa Barbara County this month meant that it would no longer be necessary to use barges to ship oil from Platform Holly, to the Bay Area, and Southern California.
It was the last oil barge operation off the Santa Barbara County Coast.
This afternoon, the final barge left the Ellwood Marine Terminal, ending 46 years of the use of barges.
Environmental groups and the oil industry worked for years to convert to the pipelines, because that shipment method is considered to pose much less of an environmental risk from spills, and will end the air pollution caused by the repeated boat trips.