On Oct. 1st, An oil spill from a cracked pipeline leaked over 10,000 gallons, off the coast of Huntington Beach. Mayor Kim Carr has reopened the shoreline and water. “It is important that our decision be based on data, that we continue to monitor the water quality going forward.”
Officials told CNN, “they have recovered at least 5,544 gallons of oil and 13.6 barrels of tar balls. In a worst-case scenario, more than 131,000 gallons may have spilled into the waters.” With these notes Orange County has cut off recreational fishing between Sunset Beach and Dana Point from the shoreline to six miles out.
“The health and safety of our residents and visitors is of the utmost importance. We understand the significance our beaches have on tourism, our economy, and our overall livelihood here in Huntington Beach,” said Huntington Beach Mayor Kim Carr in a press statement.
The City is in coordination with Federal, State, regional, and local agencies.The US Coast Guard is the leading agency and has formed an incident management team putting together a unified command team including Huntington Beach Fire, Marine Safety, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Amplify Energy Corporation to investigate the oil spill incident.
“The City of Huntington Beach is continually assessing and contributing towards mitigation efforts for the Orange County Oil Spill (Pipeline P00547 Incident). The oil spill has significantly affected the City, with substantial ecological impacts occurring at the beach and at the Huntington Beach Wetlands.” City Statement.
The Oiled Wildlife Network (OWCN) reports 65 birds recovered in total, 38 of which were found dead, also reporting nine dead fish.
The Department of Justice has opened their own investigation led by Attorney General Rob Bonta. Who is concerned in the spill minimization and possible prevention.
“The oil spill off the coast of Huntington Beach is an environmental disaster with far-reaching consequences for our fish and wildlife, for our communities, and for our economy,” said Bonta. “My sorry fice is committed to devoting the people and the resources necessary to ensure this environmental disaster is fully investigated, and we will follow the facts wherever they lead us.”
According to Jason Neubauer, chief of the office of investigations and analysis for the US Coast Guard.The pipeline was dragged 105 ft and could have been cracked a year ago. Evidence is suggesting the 13 inch linear crack was likely caused by a ship’s anchor pulled along the seafloor.Video released by the Coast Guard showed marine growth on the damaged portion of the pipeline, initially enclosed in concrete.
Neubauer explained “The linear fracture on the pipeline could have been a very gradual crack, which got worse over time.This event could be multiple incidents and strikes on the pipeline after the initial event, that we’re pretty confident occurred several months to a year ago,”
Residents in the area are upset with the contamination of their water fronts. There is a worry the spill will affect visitor attraction. A owner of the Cali Shore clothing store in Huntington Beach,
Sydney said “If people aren’t walking around or strolling around because they think the beach might be unsafe.There’s less of a chance of them walking in the door; hurting us. Because they will move onto the next beach with beautiful stores and sunsets, there’s too many in southern California not to.”
On the other hand, others aren’t too concerned now that access has reopened. After talking with Clare, who tends bar for Cabo Cantina … along the beach,
She said “The spill hasn’t affected us too much.The bar is still packed every night, when the spill happened too. There’s not alot that can keep people from visiting our area. Huntington is Huntington for a reason”.
Taylor Lebar was one of those visitors trying to make the most of a trip planned before the spill was detected. “…”.
Fortunately, she was just passing through to Oceanside clear of the oily water. Unfortunate, for owners making a living from the tourism as Taylor was not strolling. Some of the fears Sydney told us earlier. Fears she will have to figure out and live with as her patience is tested and as the investigation and cleanup continues.