Cleanup crews and environmental authorities are scrambling to control the devastation involved in a major oil spill off the Southern California coastline as new concerns arise about how the leak was handled at critical times after oil began leaking from the damaged pipeline.
The first leak was reported off the coast of Huntington Beach in Orange County on Saturday by Amplify Energy, a Houston company that owns the pipeline. Approximately 126,000 gallons of crude oil are estimated to have been spilled from the 17-mile-long structure, which carries fuel from an offshore platform and lands about five miles off Newport Beach. This amount would fill about one-fifth of an Olympic-sized swimming pool but enough to leave a chic 13 miles long.
This has created concerns for California’s largest oil leak and critical wetlands and coastal habitat since 2015. Authorities have reported some wildlife deaths, washed oil-coated fish and birds ashore, although wildlife groups say the effects on wildlife so far have been “much better than we feared.”
The California Department of Fisheries and Wildlife has stopped fishing off the coast due to oil spills, saying pollution is a threat to public health. The agency said the area stretches from Huntington Beach to Dana Point in the southeast.
The beaches in this area have been closed.
Amplify chief executive Martin Wilsher said Monday that the company had probably found the source of the leak, advising reporters that a ship’s anchor could hit the pipeline. The Coast Guard is still evaluating whether it could be the cause and is assisting the agency in its clean-up efforts, using skimmers to control the spread.
A clear answer is expected on Tuesday after divers investigated the pipeline.
“There are no active leaks that we are aware of,” Wilsher told a news conference. “We are deeply concerned about what we see in the environment. Whatever needs to be done, we will take care of it. ”
However, the New York Times reports that some experts have expressed confusion as to why Amplify has not been able to determine why its pipeline is leaking faster. The publication added that the pressure sensors should have been turned off when the leak started, and Reuters noted that residents had made a bright and smelly report since Friday (Wilsher said the company had not received such reports and would “immediately” notify officials after noticing company employees. Informs. Oil flash on Saturday morning).
“We – the boat – noticed the glare, immediately contacted the platforms and the platforms immediately started planning the event,” Wilsher said during the press conference. “We immediately, you know, inform all relevant agencies and start planning the event properly. It was in those 30 minutes.
The Los Angeles Times added after Monday that state and federal officials had indicated that oil was leaking into the sea on Friday evening, about 10 hours before amplifying authorities were alerted. The newspaper, which is shown by the Spill Prevention and Response Office, a division of the state’s Fisheries and Wildlife Department, spoke of an “observed sheen” in the waters off Huntington Beach shortly after 10 p.m. Friday.
The Times said the incident could raise questions about the 400-year-old pipeline and how it was maintained and repaired. The Orange County Register reported that the incident could result in a multi-million dollar fine.
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