Sunday, October 17, 2021

Damage likely from 126K-gallon oil spill in Southern California unknown for weeks

October 4 (WNN) — Beaches and ports have been closed as cleanup continues after an oil spill off the coast of Southern California, but the full damage may not be known for weeks.

Houston-based Amplify Energy notified the Coast Guard about the leak on Saturday morning after employees noticed a glimmer of oil in the water. The 126,000 gallon spill occurred about 5 miles from Huntington Beach in Orange County.

US Coast Guard Captain Rebecca Ore said on Monday that the oil slick was flowing south and stretched from Huntington Beach to Laguna Beach.

“We have more than doubled the level of effort since yesterday, and those numbers are increasing,” Ore said during a news conference organized by the Coast Guard, California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response and Amplify Energy. Will go.” .

The oil slick has been estimated to cover anywhere from 13 to 20 square miles. Ore described the oil as an isolated ribbon or pool of oil, rather than a large area. The Huntington Beach and Newport Beach areas have been affected the most.

The state issued fishing limits prohibiting fish from being carried about 6 miles 20 miles off the coast of Huntington Beach.

California Department of Fish and Wildlife incident commander Christian Corbo said the department would patrol the area, notifying recreational and commercial fishermen of the closure.

Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer’s office is working with federal investigators on the incident. Spitzer said he is concerned that the pipeline company is using its own divers to investigate the leak.

The reason for the leak could not be ascertained. Martin Wilser, president and CEO of Amplify Energy, said there was a “distinct possibility” that the ship’s anchorage was damaged.

Wilser said remotely controlled underwater vehicles are being used to examine the pipeline and narrow the source of the leak.

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As MarketWatch reports, Amplify Energy Corp. shares fell nearly half of their value, breaking a one-day selling record and ending a streak that pushed the stock to its highest since February 13, 2020. Price was pushed.

CNN reported that the company ceased production and pipeline operations in the area, and the 17-mile pipeline was suctioned at both ends to avoid releasing more oil.

The pipeline is connected to an offshore platform called Alley. Divers are inspecting the pipeline to determine the exact cause of the leak, which is still unknown.

The 126,000-gallon spill is about 20% of an Olympic-sized pool and is much smaller than the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill, which released 134 million gallons into the Gulf of Mexico and the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska, totaling was 11 million gallons.

In California, 4.2 million gallons of crude oil spilled near Santa Barbara in 1969 and 417,000 gallons at Huntington Beach in 1990.

Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley told CNN that damage to protected wetlands in the area is still being assessed and could take weeks.

As the New York Times reports, the oil slick covered 13 square miles and continued to grow on Sunday, as dead fish and birds washed ashore in some places and wildlife rescuers rushed to rescue the oil birds.

About 3,150 gallons of oil were recovered overnight. 14 boats were involved in the cleanliness drive.

Oiled Wildlife Care Network has received 300 calls to its hotline and 20 oiled birds have been sighted. The first surviving oil-fed birds included a brown pelican, an American coot, and a sanderling.

City of Huntington Beach Residents urged Not to try to save the oiled wildlife yourself but to call the hotline. The Orange County Health Care Agency urged people who may have been exposed to contaminated material to seek medical attention.

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