Reuters October 3, 2021 A surfer floats next to a piece of oil in the water as he walks along the coast of Huntington Beach, California, USA. Router / Gene Blevin
Written by Jean Blivins and Jonathan Allen
Huntington Beach, California sand and coastal wetlands are stuck with oil.
At a news conference, Huntington Beach Mayor Kim Carr said an estimated 126,000 gallons, or 3,000 barrels, had spilled into an oil tanker over about 13 square miles of the Pacific Ocean. The beach town about a mile0 miles south of Los Angeles was falling apart.
Carr, who called the spill a “potential environmental disaster,” added: “Our wetlands are deteriorating and parts of our coastline are now covered in oil.”
Ellie Oil spreads due to a breach connected to the rig and extends from Huntington Beach Pier to Newport Beach, a part of the coast popular with surfers and sunbathers.
The oil rig was operated by Beta Offshore, a Houston-based California subsidiary, Carr said. Increase strength (NYSE 🙂 Corporation. Calls for beta and augmentation have not been answered.
Carr added in his remarks: “In the coming days and weeks we challenge the responsible parties to do their utmost to rectify this environmental catastrophe.”
Martin Wilsher, CEO of Amplify Energy, told a news conference in Long Beach that the pipeline was now closed and the remaining oil had been extracted. He said divers are still trying to determine where and why they spread.
U.S. Representative Michelle Steele, a Republican who represents the affected area, sent a letter to Democratic President Joe Biden requesting a major disaster declaration for Orange County, which would release federal funds to help clean up the effort.
Coty Petri-Norris, a member of the Democratic state legislature who represents some of the areas affected by the outbreak, said he had “huge concerns” about the extent of damage to the environment, community and local economy.
He told CNN the spill was a “call to action that would require us to stop drilling off the precious California coast.”
Oil production off the coast of California declined sharply in the decade of decline, due to the state’s strict environmental regulations. Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom says he wants to stop oil drilling in the state by 2045.
The state was limited to offshore drilling after a devastating oil spill off the coast of Santa Barbara in 1969 that dumped 80,000 barrels into the sea. Most recently in 2015 another drop from Santa Barbara was sent to 2,400 barrels off the coast and into the Pacific Ocean.
Oceania, an ocean conservation group, has also called for an end to offshore oil and gas drilling.
Jacqueline Savitz, Oceania’s chief policy officer, said in a statement: “This is the latest tragedy in the oil industry. Now is the time to prevent future oil spills by permanently protecting our coast from coastal drilling.”
Occurred in federal waters. In a statement, the Department of Homeland Security, Bureau of Safety and Environment (BSEE) said it supported the US Coast Guard-led response.
The bureau said its role was to “help identify the location and source of any scattering and provide technical assistance to stop scattering”.
Also involved in the response were the state’s Department of Fisheries and Wildlife and the California governor’s emergency services office, Petri-Norris said. Officials at Newsom’s office said in a statement that officials there were “working closely” with the Coast Guard and others to monitor the spread.
On Sunday, Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley said oil had penetrated a large environmental reserve, Talbert Marsh, causing “significant damage.”
The beach was closed for swimming and a local air show was canceled, although some people were reluctant to enjoy sunny Sundays or to place chairs on the beach or walk on the dock.
Carr said officials have deployed a 2,050-foot protective boom, which helps control and slow oil flows.
The U.S. Coast Guard, working with local and state agencies, hired a contractor to evaluate the flight and clean it.
Officials said they were investigating the cause of the leak and the type of oil.