Horror four-mile oil slick on California coast: Fears for wildlife as 21,000 gallons of crude oil spills from ruptured pipeline
A busted pipeline off the California coast spilled approximately 21,000 gallons of oil into the ocean and onto beaches Tuesday as officials scrambled to secure the area, Reuters reported.
The spill occurred Tuesday afternoon at a site off the Santa Barbara County coast. The pipeline is operated by Plains All American Pipeline, the US Coast Guard in Los Angeles stated.
While it’s unclear exactly what type of oil seeped out of the pipeline, officials from multiple government agencies, including local, federal and wildlife, responded to the scene.
The spill extended about four miles along Refugio Beach, the Coast Guard said.
An official added that it had traveled about 50 yards (46 meters) into the ocean, according to Reuters.
— Matt Hamilton (@MattHjourno) May 20, 2015
The site has been secured by authorities, the Coast Guard stated. There is no word yet on the cause of the leak. CNN reported that the pipeline had been shut off.
While Coast Guard officials told the Los Angeles Times that about 21,000 gallons may have been leaked, California state officials declined to comment until they can calculate the exact amount.
Oil spills off California coast after pipeline ruptures in Santa Barbara. pic.twitter.com/7VavnG0jF1
— Lorena de la Cuesta (@LorenadlaCuesta) May 20, 2015
Meanwhile, Refugio Beach has been closed in response to the spill. A warning was also issued for the neighboring El Capitan State Beach.
One photograph posted by the Coast Guard on Twitter showed black oil collecting on the coast.
— USCGLosAngeles (@USCGLosAngeles) May 20, 2015
As of now, it’s unclear if any wildlife has been affected as a result of the spill.
“We haven’t seen any reports of impacts on wildlife but it is in the water so it is impacting the environment,” Richard Abrams, the emergency manager for Santa Barbara County, told Reuters.
— Andrés Benedicto (@_abenedicto) May 20, 2015