CDT Partners with State Lands Commission to Reimagine Pipeline Data

Pipelines at a marine oil terminal that are inspected by the State Lands Commission.


November 2, 2022 – Every day, nearly 2 million barrels of oil are transferred over water through pipelines at California’s marine oil terminals. The California State Lands Commission regulates and inspects these terminals to prevent or catch oil spills before they can destroy the natural environment and cost millions to clean up.    

CDT’s Stabilization Services partners with government entities to improve the stability and scalability of critical systems. They recently joined forces with Commission staff to help refine the State Lands Commission pipeline data into information that protects human health and the California marine habitat.  

As the Commission conducts inspections at marine oil terminals staff must navigate an interwoven network of increasingly aging IT systems making up the Oil Spill Prevention Database. Recently, CDT staff donned protective gear and climbed the 50-foot-high hose tower at a northern California marine terminal to take a look firsthand at current Commission practices. Some of the legacy technologies were installed decades ago so the system was unable to add new features and Commission staff had to work harder to carry out their mission. Updating the technology seemed like a complex, costly endeavor that could lead to a critical failure of the system itself. 


Bob Booker (left) and Bob Davila (right) of the State Lands Commission tour a marine oil terminal with Ron Robinette (center) of CDT. 


During any evaluation, CDT’s Stabilization Service collects valuable feedback from expert stakeholders to develop recommendations categorized by both impact and urgency. Changes typically proposed may include improvements to data management and architecture, security, system support, monitoring and infrastructure and key updates like a centralized identity management system and full-stack monitoring. These are the types of improvements that will make the Oil Spill Prevention Database more reliable and efficient– and easier to use.

It was a thrill for CDT to partner with the Commission to experience “a workday in the life” and participate in improving data collection so the regulations, inspections and activities at marine oil terminals will continue to protect California’s beautiful waterways.